Idenix reports success in early-stage HIV drug trial

Idenix Pharmaceuticals says that an early-stage study of its experimental HIV drug demonstrated a significant response in a small group of patients who hadn't been previously treated for the virus. Eight people taking an 800 mg dose of IDX899 saw viral loads drop an average of 99 percent. Researchers plan to test lower doses in future studies. Idenix has been restructured in recent months; about a third of its workers were laid off last September after the FDA rejected its hep C therapy valopicitabine.

"New once-a-day NNRTIs that offer improved resistance and safety profiles over what is currently available would be a valuable asset to HIV-treating physicians," said Dr. Douglas Richman, Professor of Pathology and Medicine, University of California San Diego, and Director of the UCSD Center for AIDS Research. "The early profile of IDX899 shows promise and warrants continued clinical evaluation as a potential HIV therapy."

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ALSO: Merck says that Isentress (raltegravir) tablets in combination with other anti-HIV medicines maintained significant HIV-1 viral load suppression and increased CD4 cell counts through 48 weeks of therapy. Release