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Gay Men's Health Crisis
DRUG WATCH: First U.S. HIV Antisense Trial Starts
David Gold and Dave Gilden
June 1, 1994
GMHC Treatment Issues 1994 Jun 1; 8(4): 8

Hybridon, a Worcester, Massachusetts based biotechnology company, received FDA approval to test its antisense product, GEM-91, which disrupts a sequence on the HIV gag gene essential for constructing the core of new virus particles. Trials are to begin by the end of April at the University of Alabama and will include six HIV-positive patients. Michael Saag is the principal investigator. GEM-91 is administered intravenously. The drug has been studied in 23 patients in France without side effects. However, in primates, serious cardiovascular side effects were seen. In test tubes, GEM-91 inhibits HIV replication.

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