2006-01-19

Roche and Trimeris Announce Selection of Two Next Generation HIV Fusion Inhibitor Drug Candidates for Development


Basel, Switzerland and Morrisville, North Carolina(ots/PRNewswire) -

- Early Preclinical Data on TR-291144 and TR-290999 to bePresented at Major HIV Congress in February

BASEL, Switzerland and MORRISVILLE, North Carolina, January 19/PRNewswire/ --

Roche and Trimeris today announced their collaboration in theco-development of two new HIV fusion inhibitor peptides. Thepeptides, TR-291144 and TR-290999, are being developed with the goalof achieving highly potent and durable suppression of the HIV viruswhile simultaneously improving convenience for patients through lessfrequent dosing such as once weekly administration. Data from theearly pre-clinical studies evaluating TR-291144 and TR-290999 will bepresented at an upcoming international HIV congress in February.

"Early studies with these new peptide fusion inhibitors have shownvery promising results" said Dr Nick Cammack, Head of VirologyResearch, Roche. "These studies, along with our other ongoing NNRTIand CCR5 discovery programmes, demonstrate Roche's commitment tofinding new and improved approaches to fighting HIV/AIDS."

First Fusion Inhibitor, FUZEON, continues to provide much neededhope for HIV patients facing treatment failure

FUZEON(R) (enfuvirtide), co-developed by Roche and Trimeris(Nasdaq: TRMS) and launched worldwide in 2003, was the first majorbreakthrough in the treatment of HIV since 1997. FUZEON ushered in acompletely new approach to fighting HIV by blocking the virus fromentering human immune cells. It is the first and only fusioninhibitor available for the treatment of HIV.

"We are very encouraged by the prospect of co-developing the nextgeneration of fusion inhibitor peptides with our colleagues atRoche," said Steven D. Skolsky, CEO, Trimeris, Inc. "This is asignificant milestone which further validates our peptide technologyplatform."

In vitro data on peptides that are precursors to TR-291144 andTR-290999 were presented at the First Conference on Entry Inhibitionof HIV in December 2005. They demonstrated significant potency anddurability.

Notes to Editors:

For further information on FUZEON and Roche in HIV please visit:http://www.roche-hiv.com/Newsandfeatures/fuzeon.cfm

About FUZEON

Recommendations - The updated DHHS guidelines (October 6, 2005)are available online: http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/guidelines/.

The Panel on Clinical Practices for Treatment of HIV Infectionconvened by the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)provides guidance on the management of HIV-infected patients. It alsoprovides guidance on changing an antiretroviral therapy regimen forvirologic failure, for which the latest recommendations include:

- Using the treatment history and past and current resistance test results to identify active agents (preferably at least two fully active agents) to design the new regimen. A fully active agent is one likely to demonstrate antiretroviral activity on the basis of both the treatment history and susceptibility on drug-resistance testing. - Adding a drug with activity against drug-resistant virus (e.g. a potent ritonavir-boosted PI) and a drug with new mechanism of action (e.g. HIV entry inhibitor) to an optimised background antiretroviral regimen can provide significant antiretroviral activity.

Growing body of evidence, RESIST 1&2 / POWER 1&2 / TORO 1&2 -Collectively the data from all six studies, in over 2,500 patients,suggest a new paradigm in the management of triple class-experiencedpatients. Latest data adds to growing Body of Evidence - LatestBoosted Protease Inhibitors (lopinavir/r, tipranavir/r and theinvestigational agent TMC 114/r) all work better in combination withFUZEON.

RESIST Phase III tipranavir trials - Over 24 weeks, almost double the proportion of patients who received FUZEON plus boosted tipranavir showed a 90% drop in viral load compared with patients not receiving FUZEON POWER Phase II TMC114 dosing trials - Preliminary data over 24 weeks in the combined TMC114 trials showed that almost double the proportion of patients who received FUZEON plus the investigational boosted PI TMC114 achieved a viral load below 50 copies/ml compared with patients not receiving FUZEON - A remarkable 67% of the patients receiving FUZEON plus boosted TMC114 reached an undetectable viral load (<50 copies/ml) - In the POWER 1 trial 63% of the patients receiving FUZEON plus boosted TMC114 reached an undetectable viral load (<50 copies/ml) compared with 56% of patients receiving TMC114 alone - Preliminary data in the POWER 2 trial showed that 64% of the patients receiving FUZEON plus boosted TMC114 reached an undetectable viral load (<50 copies/ml) compared with 30% of patients receiving TMC114 alone TORO Phase III FUZEON trials - Over 24 weeks, double the proportion of patients who received FUZEON plus boosted lopinavir achieved an undetectable viral load (<50 copies/ml) compared with patients not receiving FUZEON

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche (LSE: ROG) is one ofthe world's leading innovation-driven healthcare groups. Its corebusinesses are pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is number onein the global diagnostics market and is the leading supplier ofpharmaceuticals for cancer and a leader in virology andtransplantation. As a supplier of products and services for theprevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, the Groupcontributes on a broad range of fronts to improving people's healthand quality of life. Roche employs roughly 65,000 people in 150countries. The Group has alliances and research and developmentagreements with numerous partners, including majority ownershipinterests in Genentech and Chugai.

About Trimeris, Inc.

Trimeris, Inc. (Nasdaq: TRMS) is a biopharmaceutical companyengaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of noveltherapeutic agents for the treatment of viral disease. The coretechnology platform of fusion inhibition is based on blocking viralentry into host cells. FUZEON, approved in the U.S., Canada andEuropean Union, is the first in a new class of anti-HIV drugs calledfusion inhibitors. Trimeris is developing FUZEON and futuregenerations of peptide fusion inhibitors in collaboration with F.Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. For more information about Trimeris, pleasevisit the company's Web site at http://www.trimeris.com.

Trimeris Safe Harbor Statement

This document and any attachments may contain forward-lookinginformation about the Company's financial results and businessprospects that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. Thesestatements can be identified by the fact that they use words such as"expect," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe" and other words andterms of similar meaning. Among the factors that could cause actualresults to differ materially are the following: there is uncertaintyregarding the success of research and development activities,regulatory authorizations and product commercializations; the resultsof our previous clinical trials are not necessarily indicative offuture clinical trials; and our drug candidates are based upon noveltechnology, are difficult and expensive to manufacture and may causeunexpected side effects. For a detailed description of these factors,see Trimeris' Form 10-K filed with the Securities and ExchangeCommission on March 11, 2005 and its periodic reports filed with theSEC.

ots Originaltext: Roche PharmaceuticalsIm Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.de

Contact:For more information, please contact: Laura Bertossi, Ketchum, Tel: +44-(0)207-611-3597, Email: laura.bertossi@ketchum.com. Libby Day, F.Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Tel: +41-616-87-02-36, Mob: +41-79-597-2054,Email: elisabeth.day@roche.com

Roche Pharmaceuticals

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Roche and Trimeris Announce Selection of Two Next Generation HIV Fusion Inhibitor Drug Candidates for Development

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