Immune Response Corp. President Leaving To Take Position With Merck
Carlsbad, Calif.-based Immune Response Corp., the developer of the experimental HIV vaccine Remune, on Monday announced that Dr. Ronald Moss, president of the company since September 2002, is leaving to take a position with pharmaceutical company Merck, Reuters reports (Reuters, 1/13). Recently named CEO John Bonfiglio said that the company will either fill the position or "consider alternatives," according to an Immune Response release. Moss joined the company in 1994 as medical director (Immune Response release, 1/13). Moss' departure follows the recent announcement that John Bonfiglio would take over as the new CEO, following the September 2002 resignation of former CEO Dennis Carlo. Immune Response, which is reorganizing while "trying to avert bankruptcy," currently has no products on the market and has been trying for 10 years to market Remune. In September 2002, the company also announced that it would cut more than half of the jobs at its headquarters, and earlier in the year auditors questioned the company's "ability to stay in business" following financial losses and the resignation of its chief financial officer. The company in 2002 reported a first-quarter loss of $5.2 million, compared to a loss of $5.1 million for the same quarter in 2001, and the company in August 2001 announced it would terminate a study of Remune after a Pfizer subsidiary withdrew its development partnership for the research because of a lack of "convincing evidence" that Remune was effective. In November 2000, a study conducted by University of California-San Francisco researchers and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that Remune was ineffective in preventing the onset of AIDS (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.