Trimeris Reports Reduced Fourth-Quarter Losses Because of Increased Demand for Antiretroviral Drug Fuzeon
Durham, N.C.-based Trimeris on Thursday announced that it has narrowed its fourth-quarter losses because of increasing demand for its antiretroviral drug Fuzeon, the Raleigh News & Observer reports (Raleigh News & Observer, 3/11). Trimeris and Swiss drug maker Roche jointly developed Fuzeon, which is in a class of drugs called fusion inhibitors and is designed for HIV/AIDS patients who have failed to respond to other medications. The drug has encountered resistance from doctors and patients because of its high cost -- about $20,000 per patient annually -- and twice daily injection delivery method (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/1). Trimeris reported a $5.7 million loss for the last three months of 2004, about 31% less than in the third quarter of 2004. In order to boost sales of Fuzeon, Trimeris CEO Steve Skolsky began marketing education outreach and other programs to health care workers who treat HIV/AIDS patients, according to the News & Observer (Raleigh News & Observer, 3/11). "We have made significant progress with Fuzeon in 2004, as demonstrated by the continued worldwide growth through the fourth quarter," Skolsky said, adding, "With this solid foundation and further focused medical, marketing and promotional efforts, we expect continued growth in 2005" (Trimeris release, 3/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.