NIH UNIT INCREASES BIOTECH FUNDINGThe National Institute of General Medical Sciences is steppingup funding of its biotechnology research program to $6.4million for the current year. Started in 1989, the programfunds pre-doctoral trainees through grants to academicinstitutions and postdoctoral fellows with individual grants. Itreceived $4.3 million in funding last year.

ALLERGY INSTITUTE TO COMPARE ddI, ddC

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases willstart a 400-person clinical trial to compare two experimentalAIDS therapeutics, ddI and ddC. The two-year study is plannedfor 18 sites in 14 cities. Both ddI, made by Bristol-MyersSquibb Co., and ddC, made by Hoffmann-La Roche, have shownpromise in Phase 1 studies.

KESSLER TO DIRECT FDA'S ANTI-VIRAL DIVISION

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kesslerannounced Friday that Dr. Carl Peck will serve as actingdirector of the FDA's Division of Anti-viral Drug Products.Former Director Dr. Ellen Cooper resigned the post last month,citing burnout as the reason. The division has primaryresponsibility for evaluating potential AIDS treatments, and itsdirector is often a target of AIDS activists. Peck will remaindirector of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research,which oversees all drug review divisions.

HHS TARGETS MORE MINORITIES IN AIDS TRIALS

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary LouisSullivan last week announced grants to focus on increasing theparticipation of minorities in AIDS clinical trials. The grants willfund units at Howard University in Washington, D.C., theUniversity of Hawaii and the University of Puerto Rico. First-year funding under the grants from the National Institute ofAllergy and Infectious Diseases total nearly $2.5 million. --Rachel Nowak

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.

No Comments