PANACOS ANNOUNCES INITIATION OF BEVIRIMAT TRIAL

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Panacos Pharmaceuticalshas launched a Phase IIb clinical trial of bevirimat, the company's lead drug candidate for the treatment of HIV.

In the study, HIV-infected patients failing their current antiretroviral therapy will receive oral bevirimat or placebo once daily for three months in combination with background antiretroviral therapy. Initially, twelve patients per dose plus four placebo patients will be enrolled in each of three bevirimat dosage groups (400 mg, 500 mg and 600 mg) in a dose-escalation fashion. For the first two weeks of treatment, patients will receive bevirimat or placebo in addition to their previous background therapy ("functional monotherapy"), following which each patient's background will be optimized and treatment continued for a total of three months.