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Avexa's ATC Demonstrates Activity Against Emerging Class Resistance

MELBOURNE, Australia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov 30, 2007 - Biotechnology company Avexa Limited (ASX:AVX) announced today that a series of in-vitro experiments have shown that ATC maintains potent antiviral activity against strains of HIV which are resistant to the new class of integrase inhibitors, including the recently approved Merck HIV integrase inhibitor, raltegravir.

Resistance to raltegravir and to elvitegravir (Gilead's integrase inhibitor, presently in clinical trials) has already been shown to develop in patients, and could emerge as a significant problem. Furthermore, mutations in the virus that give rise to raltegravir resistance also result in resistance to elvitegravir. Data from clinical trials with both raltegravir and elvitegravir have shown that these drugs work best if they can be used together with another drug which retains full activity. For patients who have already been treated with many of the existing drugs on the market, finding such fully active drug 'partners' can be difficult.

On the eve of World AIDS Day, CEO Dr Julian Chick said, "These results underscore the importance that ATC could hold for patients in enabling them to achieve a new drug regimen, comprising three fully active drugs."

"The addition of ATC could play a very important role in supporting and enhancing other new drugs such as integrase inhibitors, and making the best use of them. ATC's excellent safety profile and ease of dosing further enhance its importance as a pivotal component of the HIV treatment armamentarium," he said.

Avexa announced today that full 24 week data from its apricitabine (ATC) Phase IIb trial has been accepted for presentation at the 2008 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI). One of the most prestigious meetings of its kind, CROI gathers scientists and clinicians working at the forefront of HIV drug discovery, research and treatment and provides a forum to share and discuss the findings of their work. The 2008 meeting of CROI will be held in Boston, USA, between the 3rd and 6th of February 2008.

The Company expects to initiate the Phase III program for ATC by the end of this calendar year and is expecting the 48 week data from the Phase IIb study to be released in the first quarter of 2008.

Avexa Limited is a Melbourne-based biotechnology company with a focus on research and development of drugs for the treatment of infectious diseases. Avexa has dedicated resources and funding for key projects including its HIV integrase program and an antibiotic program for antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. The Company's lead program is apricitabine (ATC), an anti-HIV drug which has successfully completed the 24 week dosing of its Phase 2b trial and continues to progress towards Phase 3 trials. Avexa has entered into a collaboration with TargetDrug in China to identify new CCR5 inhibitors for the treatment of HIV.


Avexa Limited
Dr Julian Chick, +61 3 9208 4300
Chief Executive Officer
Dr Jonathan Coates, +61 3 9208 4300
Chief Scientific Officer
Dr Susan Cox, +61 3 9208 4300
Head of Development
Bourse Communications
Mr Rod North, +61 3 9510-8309

Posted: November 2007