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HOFFMANN-LA ROCHE TO PURSUE RESEARCH DESPITE DEMONSTRATION

 NUTLEY, N.J., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Hoffmann-La Roche is committed to pursuing the discovery and development of potential AIDS therapies and diagnostic tests despite the demonstrations of some members of the AIDS community.
 Few if any other companies can match the level of involvement of Roche in the area of AIDS. Since the mid 1980s. Roche has continued to demonstrate the company's commitment to attack this disease on several fronts. This includes research and development of promising drug therapies, the development of diagnostic tests and clinical laboratory services to detect the disease, home health care services and the funding and development of educational resources and programs.
 One of the issues raised by the AIDS community is access to therapies. We, as well as other companies involved in AIDS research, understand the need for access to experimental compounds due to our ongoing work with physicians who treat AIDS and the clinical investigators who are assisting in the development of new drugs. At the same time, we have a responsibility to provide reasonable assurance that the prescription drugs and experimental compounds made available by Roche will cause no unreasonable harm while offering a therapeutic benefit in the treatment of a particular disease.
 We believe that Roche and the AIDS community share common goals -- working toward the speedy development of drugs that are safe and effective and making these drugs available to patients as soon as possible. We have no reason whatsoever to delay our drug development efforts. Whenever possible, Roche is trying to make new investigational therapies available to HIV-infected patients as soon as possible.
 At this time, Roche scientists do not believe that even minimum criteria have been met for either of the company's two developmental AIDS compounds, a TAT antagonist and an HIV-proteinase inhibitor, to warrant widespread availability of these compounds. Both the TAT antagonist and the HIV-proteinase inhibitor target different stages of the HIV replication cycle than the antiviral therapies currently on the market. Safety and efficacy studies required to evaluate the potential of both compounds in the treatment of AIDS are in progress. We plan to make both drugs available through expanded access programs as quickly as possible and are working to develop sufficient quantities of drug to accommodate large numbers of patients.
 Demonstrations cause disruptions which can only delay ongoing research, as well as discourage other companies that are involved in or contemplating AIDS drug research. While we recognize the AIDS community's right to disagree with this process, we will not be held hostage to threats and demands. What is important to understand is that AIDS is the enemy, not Roche. We look forward to pursuing a constructive dialogue with the AIDS community in the pursuit of what we believe are clearly common goals.
 About Hoffmann-La Roche
 Headquartered in Nutley, Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. is the United States affiliate of the multinational group of companies headed by Roche Holding Ltd. of Basel, Switzerland. One of the world's leading research-intensive health care companies, Roche has discovered, developed and introduced numerous important prescription pharmaceuticals. The company is also a major provider of diagnostic products and clinical testing services, home infusion therapy services, vitamins and other products for human and animal nutrition, as well as animal drug feed additives and veterinary products. Recognized for excellence in both biotechnology and traditional chemistry, Roche is also widely known for its current efforts in the commercial development of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, a revolutionary advance in diagnostics and other fields, including biomedical research, forensics and environmental testing.
 -0- 2/9/93
 /CONTACT: Gail Levinson, 201-235-6368, Darien E. Wilson, 201-235-4281, or Barbara Johnston, 201-235-3370, all of Hoffmann-La Roche/


CO: Hoffmann-La Roche ST: New Jersey IN: HEA SU:

SM-TS -- NY011 -- 4449 02/09/93 08:14 EST
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Date:Feb 9, 1993
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