• AnorMED Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, disclosed preliminary data from a study with AMD070, an HIV entry inhibitor, showing the drug candidate is active, generally safe and well tolerated in HIV patients. The open-label, dose-finding study, XACT, funded by AnorMED, involves dosing of AMD070 twice daily for 10 consecutive days. Up to four cohorts will be tested, with a total of 12 patients per cohort. Activity and safety data from the first eight HIV patients enrolled in the first dose cohort show that four had significant reductions in CXCR4 viral load with an average reduction of 1.3 log.

• VIRxSYS Corp., of Gaithersburg, Md., reported that each of the three safety patients in the four-dose cohort completed the scheduled infusions in a Phase II trial evaluating VRX496, a gene-based immunotherapy for treating HIV. Each of the three patients reached the three-month post-infusion visit with no serious adverse events due to the product. The Phase II trial is designed to evaluate repeated infusions of autologous T cells transduced with lentiviral vector-based therapy VRX496. Patients will be monitored for six months following the final dose, and the study is expected to finish up in the fall.

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