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DU PONT MERCK EXPANDS ALZHEIMER DRUG TRIAL

 DU PONT MERCK EXPANDS ALZHEIMER DRUG TRIAL
 WILMINGTON, Del., Jan. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The Du Pont Merck


Pharmaceutical Company said that it has expanded its United States Phase III clinical trial for its anti-dementia drug, "Aviva", from 550 to 800 patients.
 The company said it is ahead of its enrollment projections at more than 50 centers in the United States and Canada in the trial to determine if the drug will alleviate symptoms of early dementia in Alzheimer's disease. In animal studies "Aviva" enhanced the selective release from brain cells of neurotransmitters that are thought to be involved in memory function.
 "Aviva" is also known by its chemical name, linopirdine, and by its research name, DuP 996.
 "We chose the name 'Aviva' acknowledging it is not a traditional prescription pharmaceutical name," said Dr. John Mullane, senior vice president - drug development of Du Pont Merck. "'Aviva' testifies to our hope that the drug will make a difference in people's lives. Its novel name reflects both the novel mechanism of the drug and the unique approach our researchers have taken in developing potential drugs for dementia."
 Trial enrollment is ahead of schedule, according to Mullane. Although some trial sites have completed enrollment, most centers are still recruiting people with Alzheimer's disease.
 To qualify, a person must be 52 years old or older and must have a diagnosis of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Additionally, the person must have had progressive dementia for at least six months.
 Once enrolled, the trial participant will be treated with either "Aviva" or placebo for six months. A fact sheet outlining trial criteria and location of centers can be obtained by calling the Alzheimer's Association at 1-800-272-3900. The Alzheimer's Association is an independent volunteer organization that provides support to patients and caregivers.
 Du Pont Merck is an independent, worldwide pharmaceutical company established by Du Pont (NYSE: DD) and Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK). With R&D expenditures exceeding $230 million annually, it is focused on therapies for cardiovascular and central nervous system diseases, oncology, inflammatory diseases, and radiopharmaceuticals.
 /delval/
 -0- 1/23/92
 /CONTACT: Roger Morris of Du Pont Merck, 302-992-4747/
 (DD MRK) CO: Du Pont Merck Pharmaceutical Company ST: Delaware IN: CHM MTC SU:


JS -- PH002 -- 2600 01/23/92 08:00 EST
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Date:Jan 23, 1992
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