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TAG at Ten: The Year 1999

January/February 2003

January: amfAR's Paul Corser dies after a nine-year struggle with AIDS.

FDA approves Glaxo's atovaquone (Mepron) for the prevention of PCP pneumonia.

ACT UP/Needle Exchange activist Rod Sorge dies.

Retrovirus conference, Chicago. Beatrice Hahn presents on the HIV-1's chimp origins; Joe Sodroski shows how HIV binds to CD4/CCR5.

February: FDA approves alitretinoin gel (Panretin) for KS.

March: FDA approves ultra-sensitive Roche Amplicor HIV-1 RNA PCR test.

Sally Morrison joins TAG Board.

Paul Corser memorial: speakers include Mathilde Krim, Sally Morrison and Elizabeth Taylor.

TAG meets with Bristol Myers on once-daily ddI.

April: FDA grants accelerated approval to Glaxo's protease inhibitor amprenavir (Agenerase).

May: TAG meets with CDC on international AIDS, holds vaccine/microbicide forum in NYC, and attends 2nd International Workshop on Salvage Therapy for HIV Infection, Toronto.

Veronica Miller presents (controversial) Frankfurt HIV cohort data that suggest drug holidays may encourage drug-resistant HIV to revert to wild type.

Activist-FDA meeting on Clinical Trial Design in Heavily Pre-treated Populations.

In Toronto, Ben Cheng, Nikos Dedes, Linda Grinberg, Mark Harrington and Veronica Miller plan first workshop on Structured Treatment Interruptions (STIs).

HIVNET study 012 results released: nevirapine given as one pill to the mother at delivery and one to baby afterwards reduces HIV transmission by ~45%!

Start of First International STI Workshop, Newton, Massachusetts.

August: After five years with TAG, Antiviral Project Director Spencer Cox decides to resume his college studies.

September: TAG testifies at NIAID's AIDS Research Advisory Committee (ARAC) on long-term effectiveness research.

NIH Director Harold Varmus resigns to become president of New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

November: FDA hearing on Gilead's adefovir (Preveon) as an antiretroviral. TAG recommends against approval, as does the European AIDS Treatment (Activist) Group and the FDA's own Antiviral Drug Advisory Committee (AVDAC) itself: by a 13-1 vote. (At a much lower dose, the drug will later be approved to treat hepatitis B.)

December: Third annual TAG Research in Action Awards honor activist Spencer Cox, philanthropist Irene Diamond, and retiring NIH Director Harold Varmus.


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