In the Pipeline

The following drugs are still in clinical trials:

- Neurobiological Technologies Inc. (NTI), Richmond, CA, announces that patient enrollment has been completed in a Phase II trial of Memantine for AIDS-related dementia. Trial has been funded by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of National Institutes of Health and is conducted by AIDS Clinical Trials Group, a clinical trials consortium funded by NIAID. Study is designed to evaluate ability of Memantine, an oral agent, to provide relief from dementia and neuropathic pain symptoms, complications developed by one-third of adult AIDS patients. NTI’s collaborator Merz & Co., Frankfurt, Germany, is conducting Phase III trials with Memantine in U.S. and Europe for treatment of moderate to severe dementia and has marketed the drug in Germany since 1989 for dementia syndrome. Results of current NIAID trial are expected by mid-2000.

- Kumetrix, Inc., Union City, CA, has received a $100,000 Small Business Innovative Research grant from the National Science Foundation to help develop the company’s painless blood glucose monitor. Patients can press device to skin and a tiny needle penetrates, drawing a blood sample about 1/100th the size of a drop. Blood immediately travels from needle into miniature reservoir where reagents react with glucose. Monitor produces readout of blood glucose level. Device proved painless and comparable in accuracy to currently marketed products in a pilot study performed in 1999 in Type I diabetic patients.

- Novantrone (mitoxantrone for injection concentrate) received unanimous recommendation by the FDA Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Panel for FDA approval. Indica tion for slowing the worsening of neurologic disa bility and reducing relapse rate in patients with clinically worsening forms of relapsing-remitting and secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). Marketed by Immunex Corp. and thought to have clear benefit for a significant group of MS patients with limited treatment options.

- Agouron Pharmaceuticals Inc. says its investigational drug Capravirine (formerly AG1549) has shown antiretroviral activity and was well-tolerated by HIV-infected patients in a short-course monotherapy trial. Capravirine, a nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, reached target antiretroviral plasma concentrations when given with HIV protease inhibitors in a subsequent pharmacokinetic trial.