Italian researchers have reported preliminary results of arandomized study treating 14 chronic hepatitis B patients witheither Thymosin alpha 1 or interferon.

Six of the seven patients treated with Thymosin alpha 1 for sixmonths were purged of the hepatitis B virus as measured byloss of viral DNA, according to data presented last week at theSecond International Meeting on Therapies for Diseases of theLiver. Three of the seven patients treated with interferon werecleared of the virus.

The preliminary Italian results with Thymosin are similar toresults published last year in the journal Hepatology, accordingto Alpha 1 Biomedicals Inc., which is developing the drug.

The data are part of a 70-patient study sponsored by SclavoS.p.A., which has licensed Italian rights to Thymosin fromAlpha 1 (NASDAQ:ALBM) of Washington, D.C. Sclavo plans tofile for Italian marketing approval late this year or early in1993.

Alpha 1 is conducting a Phase III study of Thymosin in the treat chronic hepatitis B. The company's shares closed at$7.75, down 50 cents, on Wednesday.

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