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HEALTH | BRIEFLY

U.S. Clears Agouron's AIDS Drug

March 15, 1997|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Agouron Pharmaceuticals Inc. said the government has approved its HIV drug sooner than expected, prompting a sharp rise in its stock. Shares rose as high as $96.25 before ending $4.75 higher at $80.50 on Nasdaq. It has been volatile since December as investors speculated when the Food and Drug Administration would approve the drug, called Viracept, which is the first protease inhibitor to get simultaneous approval for sales to both adults and children. San Diego-based Agouron has said it will provide the drug without charge to those patients whose need is greatest and who are least able to pay for the drug, including uninsured children.

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