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ICN Gets Go-Ahead for Tests of Virazole on Pre-AIDS Patients

February 06, 1986

ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Wednesday that it has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration permission to begin clinical testing of its drug Virazole on patients diagnosed as having pre-AIDS conditions at nine medical centers across the United States.

The Costa Mesa-based company, which hopes to eventually secure FDA approval of Virazole in treating AIDS, will test the drug on 350 patients over a six-month period ending in July, ICN officials said.

The tests--to be conducted at New York University's Cornell Medical Center, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Miami Medical Center, M.D. Anderson Hospital of Houston, UC San Diego, San Francisco General Hospital, the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, George Washington University and the New York Blood Center--are the second in a series of human clinical tests required by the FDA before Virazole could be approved for AIDS use.

The tests, which will cost an estimated $10 million, are jointly sponsored by Eastman Kodak Co. of Rochester, N.Y., which owns a 5% stake in ICN and is a partner with the company in a research institute aimed at developing anti-viral drugs.

Although FDA approval of Virazole for use against AIDS is far from certain, investors gave ICN their vote of confidence Wednesday by pushing the price of its common stock to a new 12-month high on the New York Stock Exchange. Posting a gain of 7.2% for the day, ICN closed at $14.88 a share, up $1 from Tuesday's close.

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