Immune Response Says Its Remune Therapy May Induce HIV Immunity
CARLSBAD, Calif. -(Dow Jones)- Biopharmaceutical company Immune Response Corp. said clinical information suggests its Remune therapy may induce immunity to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The company's shares rose sharply in heavy trading.
Following up on what it had indicated a month ago, Immune Response (IMNR) said Remune may help rebuild immune systems when used alone or in combination with antiviral drugs.
Remune is an immune-based therapy composed of whole HIV particles that have been depleted of their gp120 viral-coat proteins and inactivated to render them noninfectious. The immunostimulant is intended to treat HIV-infected individuals by preventing or delaying the progression of HIV to AIDS.
Immune Response last month said a Thailand study of Remune showed an increase in a certain type of immune-system cells that may be beneficial in the treatment of HIV.
Dr. Sukeepaisarncharoen, a clinician in the Thai study, said during a follow- up period after the trial was completed, 87% of those patients tested 48 weeks after the trial's end had stable or significantly decreased amounts of HIV in the bloodstream.
Data from multiple clinical trials were presented at a conference sponsored by the Thai Ministry Of Public Health in Bangkok.
An observation common to the multiple trials suggested that patients treated with Remune in combination with antiviral drug therapy mount strong CD4 helper T-cell immune responses against HIV, Immune Response said. The helper cells are immune cells that HIV destroys.
According to Dr. Vina Churdboonchart, principal investigator for the trial in Thailand, there is an emerging consensus among HIV researchers that immune health may be the key to controlling HIV infection in the long term.
Results from a study of 297 infected patients who never received antiviral drug therapy showed that the primary measure of the number of CD4 cells was significantly higher in the Remune treatment group.
The investigators plan to propose Remune monotherapy be administered as a first course of treatment in Thailand. One doctor is completing the necessary documentation to sumbit to the Thai Minister of Public Health for the commercial approval of Remune in Thailand.
Remune was inspired by the late Jonas Salk, who believed that a deactivated version of the AIDS virus might work much like the polio vaccine he developed in the 1950s. Previous studies have shown that Remune augments the response of certain types of T cells, which normally attack invading viruses but are destroyed by HIV.
Immune Response and partner Agouron Pharmaceuticals Inc. are co-developing Remune in the U.S., Europe, Australia, Japan and certain other countries.
(Compiled from Dow Jones Newswires and other sources)
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