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May 12, 2010

Avexa halts apricitabine development due to cash shortage

Aidsmap: "Avexa announced on Monday that it is halting the development of its nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitor apricitabine because it cannot find a partner to develop the drug and obtain licensing in key markets. The company cannot afford to develop the drug alone.

The Australian company’s shares fell by 79% on the Sydney stock exchange after the announcement, which come despite positive clinical trials results for the product.

Avexa said that negotiations with other companies had proved difficult due to the high dosing requirement of the drug (800mg twice daily), which would make it difficult to coformulate with other antiretrovirals.

Potential partners were also concerned by the difficulty in determining the potency of the drug. The use of new high active agents in the optimised background regimen, which make it easier for treatment-experienced patients to achieve an undetectable viral load, may mask the effectiveness of apricitabine, some argued."