Gilead Sciences Inc. on Thursday said it has filed its firstinvestigational new drug application, to test its drug GS 504 inAIDS patients at risk of developing cytomegalovirus infectionin the retina.

The company's shares (NASDAQ:GILD) jumped $2.38 to $19.25on the news.

GS 504, a dinucleotide, has demonstrated a longer duration andhigher potency against CMV in mice. If this performance isshown in humans, the drug may compete with ganciclovir,marketed by Syntex, and foscarnet, developed by Astra andrecently approved for CMV retinitis in AIDS. Ganciclovir cannotbe used with AZT, and foscarnet can cause kidney damage andseizures.

Animal data suggest that GS 504 may work in other infections.The Foster City, Calif., company plans to file before the end ofthe year to begin trials of GS 393, a mononucleotide analog, totreat AIDS. -- RF

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