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Intrnational development of Russian anti-HIV preparation

Viscount Pharma plans to Initiate phase II trials in Thailand early 1999 with the phosphorated zidovudine derivative PHOSPHAZID   are a potential once a day  therapy for HIV infection and AIDS.The company  acquired rights to PHOSPHAZID worldwide outsider  the CIS from the Engelhart Institute of Molecular Biology at the Russian Academy of  Sciences. A phase I dose-ranging triat of  the agent  is under way in Russia in treatment-naive HIV-infected individuals. Frozen bloot  sample from patients are being evaluated at the George Washington University {USA}.and McGlll University (Canada) for pharmacokinetice, surrogate markers, such as viral load arid CD4+ cell counts, and viral resistance; A phase I investigation is also planned-for the USA around second quarter 1999. Viscount Pharma anticipates that phase ll/lll trials could be initiated in North America during 2000. The company plans to seek a licensee to develop PH0SPHAZID from phase II onwards, according to Mf-Marius Petrescu, .speaking in an interview with R&D focus. ....In preclinical studies. In vitro, PHOSPHAZID was active against four of  five  zidovudine-resistant HIV mutants-tested. The company reports that in mice and rats, the agent was around  five times  jess  toxic  than zidovudine. . In rats and dogs, no  toxicity was seen at doses 30-fold and 20-fold  the expected human dose, respectively. PHOSPHAZID has a longer  halt life than zidovudine and Is expected to be suitable for once-daffy dosing. A phase I study  conducted  in Russia and  involving 22 AIDS patients showed PHOSPHAZID to be weir tolerated.

Russian Academy of Sciences; Viscount Pharma Canada.