The Swiss-based Roche healthcare group said Monday it signed an agreement with a United States company to develop a revolutionary treatment for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.This content was published on July 12, 1999 - 16:15
The Swiss-based Roche healthcare group said Monday it signed an agreement with a United States company to develop a revolutionary treatment for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
The accord covers full-scale clinical testing and development of two drugs produced by the Trimeris company of North Carolina.
The two compounds, T-20 and T-1249, are known as fusion inhibitors or blockers. Unlike traditional AIDS drugs that work in the cell after the virus has taken over its machinery and is replicating, T-20 attacks HIV outside the cell before it begins infection of new cells.
"When you consider that as many as 40 percent of people infected with HIV are currently on their third or fourth set of HIV combination treatments because of treatment failures or cross-resistance between drugs, the huge demand for a completely new approach to fighting HIV is clear," said Dr. Franz B. Humer, Roche chief executive and head of the pharmaceuticals division.
"By combining our powerful existing anti-HIV treatment and cutting-edge technology with the potential of these new compounds, we are moving HIV treatment into the 21st century. We believe that the integration of these approaches will provide the best long-term healthcare solution for people living with HIV," Humer said.
In the U.S. and Canada, Roche and Trimeris will share equally development expenses and profits for the two compounds. Elsewhere, Roche will fund all development costs and pay Trimeris undisclosed royalties on net sales.
Roche said it would make an initial cash payment to Trimeris of $10 million and up to an additional $78 million in cash once developmental, regulatory and commercial milestones were reached.
Written by SRI staff.
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