Friday, Jun 1, 1990

Genentech Research on Protection of Chimpanzees from HIV Infection to be Published

South San Francisco, Calif. -- June 1, 1990 --

Genentech, Inc. announced that a paper by its scientists on protection of animals from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) infection had been accepted this week for publication in a future issue of the respected international scientific journal, Nature.

The paper reports results of an experiment that for the first time demonstrates that vaccination can provide protection from HIV infection. Two chimpanzees were immunized with a recombinant form of gp120, the envelope protein of HIV, and then challenged with the same laboratory strain of the virus from which the protein was derived. The control chimpanzee became infected within seven weeks of challenge and the two chimpanzees immunized with the recombinant protein have not shown signs of infection after more than six months. The experiment was conducted in collaboration with the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research of San Antonio, Texas.

These findings provide encouragement that an AIDS vaccine may one day be developed, but work on this project, if successful, will take several years. A better understanding of the mechanism of protective immunity is necessary before significant progress can be made. Genentech is continuing this line of research and is working toward the goal of initiating human clinical trials.

Nature granted Genentech permission to announce this upcoming publication due to the proximity of the June 14 publication date to Genentech's annual stockholder meeting on June 8.

Additional comments on this study will not be made until the findings are published in the June 14 issue of Nature.

Genentech, Inc. is a biotechnology company focusing on the development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceutical products produced by recombinant DNA technology.

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