Austria has become the first country to give marketingapproval to Hoffmann-La Roche Inc.'s HIVID treatment forHIV-positive, ARC and AIDS patients, the company announcedWednesday.

Austria approved the use of the drug, also known as ddC(dideoxycytidine), as an alternative to AZT for patients who donot respond to AZT or who are AZT-intolerant. ddC also could beused as a first-line treatment for AIDS and ARC in combinationwith AZT, said company spokesman Paul Oestreicher.

About 5,000 cases were reported of people who were HIV-positive or who had AIDS in Austria in 1991, he said.

"This represents the first approval, worldwide, for HIVID,"Oestreicher told BioWorld. "Some non-EC countries may beacting on our market applications soon, and we are lookingforward to our Food and Drug Administration anti-viralsadvisory committee meeting on April 20 and 21."

The Nutley, N.J.-based company has filed for market approvalin about 20 other countries. -- Kris Herbst

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