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ARMOUR: STUDY AFFIRMS BENEFITS OF ULTRA HIGH PURITY FACTOR VIII THERAPY ON IMMUNE SYSTEM OF HIV-POSITIVE HEMOPHILIACS

 COLLEGEVILLE, Pa., June 7 /PRNewswire/ -- New data confirm that monoclonal antibody purified factor VIII replacement therapy reduces the rate of decline of CD4 lymphocytes in HIV-infected persons with hemophilia A, according to a study in the May 29, 1993 issue of The Lancet. The comprehensive seven-year study (1985-1991) was conducted by the USA-based Transfusion Safety Study Group, which has been analyzing the immune consequences of transfusion of blood components and plasma primarily in HIV-positive and -negative persons with hemophilia.
 Persons with hemophilia, including those who are HIV-positive, are routinely infused with replacement factor VIII clotting concentrates. The differences in the purity of these concentrates vary from product to product. Exposure to other proteins found in intermediate purity factor concentrates results in adverse effects on various aspects of the immune system and may be found to contribute to progression of symptoms and AIDS among HIV-positive hemophiliacs.
 Product purity has been emphazised as an important factor in maintaining functional stability of the immune system. The study examined the CD4 counts in HIV positive persons with hemophilia treated either with monoclonal antibody purified factor VIII concentrate or intermediate-purity factor VIII concentrate. CD4 counts are used as a marker to measure the risk of progression to AIDS in HIV-infected persons. In a subset of subjects, 36 individuals treated with high- purity concentrate for six months or more had a significantly slower rate of decline in CD4 counts than did the 72 matched controls on intermediate-purity concentrate.
 A sophisticated random effects model was used to further analyze the data between high-purity and intermediate-purity products in 226 HIV- infected hemophiliacs. Of these, 206 patients received intermediate- purity factor VIII during follow-up, and 112 received high-purity concentrate. The data revealed that the CD4 cell counts declined three percent less per six month period with high-purity factor VIII concentrates than with intermediate-purity products.
 "These findings further support and provide confirmation of previous studies regarding the clinical benefit of monoclonal antibody purified factor concentrate on the immune systems of HIV-positive persons with hemophilia," commented Garrett E. Bergman, M.D., director of medical and scientific affairs at Armour Pharmaceutical Company.
 Armour Pharmaceutical Company, a subsidiary of Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Inc. (NYSE: RPR) is a leading manufacturer of high-quality plasma derivatives. The company manufactures a full range of plasma derived therapeutics including monoclonal antibody purified and pasteurized factor VIII replacement therapy, Monoclate-P(R) and monoclonal antibody purified factor IX replacement therapy, Mononine(TM).
 -0- 6/7/93
 /CONTACT: Rob Partridge of Armour Pharmaceutical Company, 215-454-3890; or Eileen Murray of Davies & Murray, 212-262-7090, for Armour Pharmaceutical Company/
 (RPR)


CO: Armour Pharmaceutical Company ST: Pennsylvania IN: MTC SU:

TS-WB -- NY061 -- 6153 06/07/93 15:25 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 7, 1993
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