WASHINGTON -- ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. and its Viratek Inc.subsidiary have agreed to avoid violations of securities lawsin a settlement of a complaint brought by the Securities andExchange Commission, the SEC said Tuesday.

The SEC filed the complaint on Monday, alleging that thecompanies made false statements regarding the results ofclinical trials of the effectiveness of ribavirin, an anti-viraldrug, against AIDS.

According to the complaint, during January and February 1987,the companies made representations to potential investors"which failed to disclose material information ... indicatingthat there were serious flaws in the results" of the companies'clinical trial of ribavirin. It alleges that the companies "failedto disclose that the placebo group contained a disproportionatenumber of patients who were sicker and at greater risk ofprogression to AIDS than the ribavirin groups. ..."

The complaint also alleges that "the defendants failed todisclose that the original objective of the first clinical trial,suppression of reproduction of the AIDS virus and improvementof the patient's immune function, were not achieved."

The SEC said that ICN (NYSE:ICN) and Viratek (NASDAQ:VIRA) ofCosta Mesa, Calif., have agreed, without admitting or denyingthe allegations, to avoid future violations of the anti-fraudand reporting provisions of the securities laws.

-- Steve Usdin BioWorld Washington Bureau

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