WASHINGTON _ SciClone Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Monday thatit began the first shipments of Zadaxin for the treatment of hepatitis Bto Singapore in early April.

"We expect a gradual roll-out of the drug in Singapore," SciCloneCEO Thomas Moore told a press briefing. Increasing sales by $25million to $30 million should push the company into profitability in1996 if the company receives clearance to market the drug inadditional countries, he said.

"We now have registrations pending in five countries and we will filefive additional ones," Moore said. "Responses should be forthcomingin the next 12 to 18 months."

SciClone expects to increase its current $10 million to $12 millionresearch and development budget in 1996 when the companydevelops a plan to market the drug in the U.S. Moore pointed to datareleased at a scientific meeting last week that showed Zadaxin has a"statistically significant" therapeutic effect on hepatitis B, which isgenerating considerable interest in Latin America, the Middle Eastand Asia.

Zadaxin is marketed by SciClone but distributed under agreementswith eight to 10 distribution agents. SciClone's marketingheadquarters are in Hong Kong. In addition, Moore said he expectedthat favorable results on the use of Zadaxin in patients with non-smallcell lung cancer will become available in a few months. _ MicheleL. Robinson

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.