SOUTH AFRICA HALTS HIV DRUG TRIALS
Bloomberg 6 April 2000
Triangle Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares fell 34 percent after the antiviral- drug
developer said it stopped recruiting patients in a clinical trial in which it
found higher-than-expected liver damage among study patients, two of whom
Triangle Pharmaceuticals shares fell 4 1/2 to 8 3/4 in Nasdaq Stock Market
Trading. About 4.01 million shares were traded, almost 16 times the
three-month daily average.
The 470-patient Coviracil study, being conducted in South Africa, is aimed at
finding a treatment for AIDS or hepatitis B. The Durham, North Carolina-based
company denied a South African media report that the entire study, which
began in August, was halted. Triangle said the liver toxicity isn't related
to the drug.
"Liver toxicity hasn't been a significant concern in any other study of
Coviracil,'' Dr. David Barry, chairman and chief executive of Triangle, said
in a statement.
Separately, the company said it received a letter from the Medicines Control
Council, South Africa's drug regulatory agency, asking that the study be
Triangle said it is conducting a Coviracil study in the U.S. and plans
studies in Europe and South America.