About 75 AIDS activists chained themselves to the gates of theHoffmann-La Roche headquarters in Nutley, N. J. Tuesdaymorning, delaying traffic coming into New York City asmotorists slowed to observe the protest. An unidentifiednumber were arrested at the unit of Swiss-based Roche HoldingLtd.

The demonstrators demanded quicker testing of the company'sexperimental tat inhibitor and detailed plans for clinical testingof the ddC drug.

The company denied delaying research of its tat inhibitor,which protesters said has been subject to five years of studyand $2.8 million in government subsidies.

In a prepared statement, the company said it is "committed tomaking new therapies available to HIV-infected patients assoon as these agents meet at least minimum criteria for safetyand efficacy."

Representatives of ACT UP/New York and Treatment ActionGroup said the tat inhibitor is unlike other anti-HIV therapiesbecause it halts replication in cells already infected.

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

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