* Cell Genesys Inc., of Foster City, Calif., said results from a Phase Itrial of its AIDS gene therapy demonstrated the treatment was safe.The study involves twins with one sibling healthy and one infectedwith HIV. Killer T cells taken from the healthy sibling are geneticallyaltered to destroy HIV-infected cells and expanded in number. Thosecells are then given to the twin with AIDS. The trial also showed theengineered cells were still present in the patients system after fourweeks. The next step in the study will be to use an HIV patient's ownkiller T cells for the gene therapy.
* Gilead Sciences Inc., of Foster City, Calif., said results from aPhase I/II study of GS 840 (adefovir dipivoxil) for HIV demonstratedthe oral drug was well tolerated by AIDS patients. Participants alsoexperienced improvements as measured by the two main surrogatemarkers _ decreases in viral load and increases in CD4 cell counts.GS 840 is an antiviral nucleotide compound.
* SmithKline Beecham plc, of London, said a study of oralfamciclovir in 48 AIDS patients showed the drug was safe andeffective in reducing recurrent genital herpes. In the trial patientsreceived either famciclovir or a placebo. Those on the drugexperienced significantly lower overall rates of herpes shedding(presence of infectious herpes) and herpes lesions than those onplacebo.
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