A monoclonal antibody developed in collaboration by RepligenCorp. and Merck & Co. Inc. has shown promise as an anti-infective against HIV in a chimpanzee study.

Repligen said Friday the result "indicates it may be feasible todevelop an anti-infective to prevent HIV in humans."

A chimpanzee injected with infectious doses of HIV-1 and theninfused with monoclonal antibody to the V3 loop of the virushas remained free of HIV infection since the test was begun inMarch. A control animal exposed to the virus developed signs ofinfection in six weeks.

The companies are developing the anti-infective drug toprovide post-exposure protection against free virus. The drugwould consist of antibodies that would have to be injected "ina timely manner" following exposure, a Repligen spokeswomansaid.

Repligen shares (NASDAQ:RGEN) picked up $3.63 on the newsFriday, closing at $21.

The results were presented Friday by Emilio A. Emini of Merckat the International Conference on Advances in AIDS VaccineDevelopment in Marco Island, Fla. Repligen of Cambridge, Mass.,and Merck of Rahway, N.J., are also developing an AIDS vaccine.-- Karen Bernstein

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