VimRx Pharmaceuticals Inc. announcedThursday that it has begun patient enrollment fora Phase I/II trial of oral dose Hypericin againstHIV/AIDS. The 24-patient trial, conducted atthree U.S. medical centers, will study safety andtolerance of daily dosing with the anti-viral agent.In addition, the company will look at somesurrogate markers for efficacy.The Stamford, Conn., company has beendeveloping Hypericin as an ex vivo agent toeliminate HIV in blood, and hopes the agentcould be used to increase the safety of bloodused for transfusions. The company said thatHypericin, in conjunction with exposure tofluorescent light, has been able to kill all HIV inblood.VimRx also hopes that Hypericin will be effectivethrough in vivo applications. According toVimRx's president, Richard Podell, the companywill study the effect of the agent on viral burden,p24 antigen levels, and CD4 cell count.VimRx completed its first Phase I clinical trial ofHypericin in September 1993.031894VimRx

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