Allelix Biopharmaceuticals Inc. has received approval from Canadian regulatory authorities to begin a Phase I/II trial of its transcription targeted drug, ALX40-4C, in HIV patients.

The Mississauga, Ontario, company said it expects to start the 40- patient trial in January. HIV-positive patients will receive administrations of one of five doses of the drug three times per week for one month. The trial will assess safety and tolerance of ALX40- 4C as well as its viral activity as measured by various surrogate markers.

The intent is to block the binding of the viral protein tat and the RNA structure TAR by binding to the TAR structure. This prevents transactivation and subsequent viral replication.

"It's another mechanism of action, and that's a point of novelty," Graham Strachan, the company's president and CEO, told BioWorld. "Allelix is the only company pursuing tat inhibitors in a clinical trial."

He said results of the trial should be fully analyzed by the fourth quarter of 1995. _ Jim Shrine

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