The Liposome Co. on Tuesday said it has started an expandedPhase II trial of TLC G-65, a liposomal form of the antibioticgentamicin, in AIDS patients with Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare.

MAI is an opportunistic infection that affects about 30 percentto 50 percent of AIDS patients. MAI infections reside withinmacrophages, which normally engulf and kill pathogens.

Most conventional antibiotics can't penetrate macrophages insufficient concentrations to kill MAI. But liposomes arerecognized as foreign by the macrophages and engulfed. Onceinside, the liposome membrane breaks down and releases theantibiotic.

The new trial is testing a more intensive dosing regimen thanthe one used in a previous Phase II study in which TLC G-65was given to patients twice a week for four weeks.

Shares of the Princeton, N.J., company gained 88 cents to closeat $17.

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