Nov 2, 2003
Sir, do you know anything about this? I hope this is not just some "bull" announcement. It really would be great for us in the community. What is your outake?
IVAX Will Develop New HIV Drug; New Therapeutic Concept; Immunotoxin Targets HIV-Infected Cells
Business Wire - January 30, 2003
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 30, 2003--IVAX Corporation announced today that it is developing, in collaboration with the Laboratory of Molecular Biology of the National Cancer Institute, a recombinant immunotoxin designed to treat HIV infection by selectively destroying HIV infected cells. This immunotoxin is engineered to selectively kill HIV-infected cells by targeting an HIV envelope glycoprotein only found on the surface of HIV infected cells. Currently, HIV infected people are treated with combinations of drugs referred to as "highly active antiretroviral treatment" or "HAART" which produce a dramatic reduction in viral load, elevation of CD4 blood cell counts, and improvement in clinical status and survival. The long-term effectiveness of HAART is, however, severely limited by the persistence of reservoirs of infected cells which appear to be the source of the rapid increase of viral load upon cessation of HAART therapy. As a result, HAART treatment must be continued, despite serious side effects.
In animals with established HIV-1 infection, the targeted immunotoxin significantly increased the anti-HIV activity of HAART. In a model of acute HIV infection, animals treated with low dose HAART and the targeted immunotoxin demonstrated strong suppression of viral load during and after cessation of HAART. In contrast, animals treated with HAART alone had viral suppression during HAART but a prompt increase in viral load after HAART.
Dr. Phillip Frost, chairman and CEO of IVAX commented, "The HIV envelope targeted immunotoxin is designed to reduce the dependence of HIV infected persons on HAART and to prevent establishment of HIV infection after HIV exposure. IVAX is developing this new drug in the hope that it will make a vital contribution to the global effort to prevent and control HIV infection."
The National Cancer Institute is a part of the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
IVAX Corporation, headquartered in Miami, Florida, discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets branded and brand equivalent (generic) pharmaceuticals and veterinary products in the U.S. and internationally.
Copies of this and other news releases may be obtained free of charge from IVAX' website at http://www.ivax.com.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements regarding product development efforts and product performance and other non-historical facts that are being made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that cannot be predicted or quantified and, consequentially, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, that development efforts for the recombinant immunotoxin may fail, may not achieve the expected results or effectiveness and/or may not generate data that would support the approval or marketing of this product for the indications being studied or for other indications. In addition to the risk factors set forth above, IVAX' forward looking statements may also be adversely affected by general market factors, competitive product development, product availability, federal and state regulations and legislation, the regulatory process for new products and indications, manufacturing issues that may arise, trade buying patterns, patent positions and litigation, among other things. For further details and discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, see IVAX' Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
CONTACT: IVAX Corporation, Miami Jim Whitlow, 305/575-6043
SOURCE: IVAX Corporation
Response from Dr. Pierone
Hello, this press release mentions that IVAX is starting work on an immunotoxin to destroy HIV infected cells. This concept of using immune-based therapy for HIV infection makes sense and is an area of great research interest. This report suggests that this effort is just getting started so it will be quite a while until we get answers. So not a "bull" announcement, but very early.
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