Wellcome’s Shares Soar on AIDS Research Findings
LONDON (AP) _ Wellcome PLC’s stock soared Monday on a report that a combination of the British pharmaceutical company’s herpes medication and an anti-AIDS drug halved mortality among AIDS patients during a trial.
Wellcome shares jumped 98 pence ($1.83) to close at 10.65 pounds ($19.92) on London’s Stock Exchange Monday afternoon.
Wellcome’s study showed that the death rate of patients treated with its herpes drug Acyclovir combined with the anti-AIDS drug AZT was 10 percent during the trial. Twenty percent of patients treated only with AZT died, said company spokeswoman Rosemary Hennings.
Hennings said complete figures and a comprehensive review of the study will be available early in 1992.
The two-year trial involved 300 patients in Britain, Germany and Australia, she said. The course for each patient was 48 weeks, she said.
The Sunday Times reported that a doctor involved in the trials said the early results were ″a minor step forward″ in the treatment of AIDS.
Dr. Brian Gazzard of London’s Westminster Hospital was quoted as saying: ″The results have not been published yet, but I would not say that it is a dramatic effect.″
Acyclovir is prescribed for various kinds of herpes infections, including genital herpes, shingles and cold sores.