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Roche to cease HIV research

Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical company, is to cease research into HIV as none of its pending medicines represent a significant improvement over existing drugs
Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical company, is to cease research into HIV as none of its pending medicines represent a significant improvement over existing drugs.

A report, published by Reuters, references a memo sent to Aids specialists and activists saying that, due to poor results in clinical trials, the company had cancelled its current product development programmes.

Confirming the contents of the memo, a spokeswoman based in Roche's US office said the company has "decided to refocus our resources within virology on diseases in which we can deliver substantial improvements over existing medications."

"Research scientists currently working in HIV will be reassigned to other activities," said the spokeswoman.

According to figures published by independent market research firm, Datamonitor, a small increase in HIV cases and the launch of new drugs means that the AIDS medicine market is set to be worth $10.6bn by 2015.

According to the report, Roche said it would reassess its involvement in this area should a scientific breakthrough in HIV occur elsewhere. The company has vowed to continue supporting its molecular diagnostic tests and medications already on the market.

14th July 2008

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