¿ Aquila Biopharmaceuticals Inc., of Framingham, Mass., said University of Rochester researchers found that the company's vaccine adjuvant, QS-21, substantially reduced amounts of the HIV gp120 antigen, and produced high levels of antibodies in clinical trials. The study, presented at the 13th International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, suggests that QS-21 may be effective against multiple HIV strains and enable the development of HIV vaccines with lower manufacturing costs. Aquila's stock (NASDAQ:AQLA) closed Wednesday at $6.187, up $3.562, or 136 percent.

¿ Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Tarrytown, N.Y., said its investigational drug PRO 542, when used in combination with Trimeris Inc.'s T-20, demonstrated significantly enhanced anti-HIV activity in vitro. Scientists discovered the combination was especially potent in blocking HIV entry into cells. On average, the levels of each agent required to achieve biologically relevant inhibition were reduced by about 10-fold.

¿ Trimeris Inc., of Durham, N.C., said data from a 48-week trial suggest that the investigational agent T-20, when used in combination with other antiretroviral therapies, continues to be well tolerated and may contribute to the observed suppression of plasma viral load in patients with HIV. T-20 is the first drug in a new class of HIV/AIDS therapies known as fusion inhibitors. It prevents the virus from entering a new host cell. In the Phase II trial, 70 patients received 50 mg of T-20 twice daily in combination with other anti-HIV drugs. At 48 weeks, 23 patients exhibited reductions in the amount of HIV in their blood.

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