Experimental drug trial under way

A novel reverse transcriptase inhibitor, DMP 266, is being studied in two clinical trials in HIV-positive patients, according to its manufacturer, DuPont Merck of Wilmington, DE.

The trials, under way at more than 100 hospitals around the world, follow Phase II studies showing that using DMP 266 in combination with indinavir (Crixivan) pushed HIV-RNA levels below detection in 88% to 90% of 21 patients.

The most commonly reported side effects for the combination were rash, sinusitis, and diarrhea.

"These studies are novel because DMP 266 is given to patients in a once-daily dose, which is unique among HIV/AIDS medications that typically need to be taken more frequently," says Kenneth Gorelick, MD, vice president of clinical research at DuPont Merck Pharmaceuticals.