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NIH AWARDS GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY GRANT TO EVALUATE AIDS THERAPIES

NIH AWARDS GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY GRANT TO EVALUATE AIDS THERAPIES
 WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgetown University Medical Center was informed today it will receive more than $11 million over four years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to become an Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Unit. This award will enable Georgetown to participate in a consortium of institutions nationwide as a leader in the search for improved treatments of HIV infection and its complications.
 Georgetown was the only adult ACTU selected in the District of Columbia, where the HIV infection rate per capita ranks the highest in the nation. Overall, the District of Columbia ranks in the top 10 cities nationally for HIV, the virus which causes AIDS. Georgetown will work collaboratively with D.C. General Hospital and the Whitman- Walker AIDS Clinic on the project.
 According to NIAID, the ACTUs will emphasize the enrollment of women. Georgetown University Medical Center began evaluating the impact of HIV and related problems on women in 1986 through its AIDS clinic. "GUMC is committed to making clinical treatment trials accessible to women," said Mary A. Young, MD, director of Georgetown's Women's HIV Clinical Program. "We understand there are often impediments, such as child care and transportation difficulties, that restrict access for women to these types of trials. We are challenged to come up with creative solutions to these problems."
 Georgetown's AIDS clinic provides services to male and female HIV infected patients in the District of Columbia. It was one of the first in the Washington area to offer a truly interdisciplinary approach to HIV/AIDS by providing care and services that enable the HIV-infected patient to avoid hospitalization. In the last five years, Georgetown's clinical research program has examined such issues as single and combination antiretroviral therapies, such as AZT alone or in combination with ddI, ddC, or acyclovir, and treatment strategies for major opportunistic infections including a study of 566C80 in the treatment of pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.
 "The NIAID's network of ACTUs represents the best hope for the organized, rational development of effective therapeutic strategies against HIV and related disease," said John F. Griffith, MD, executive vice president for Health Sciences and director of the Medical Center. "I am proud and excited that Georgetown will now be a part of this network -- and will thus have the resources to expand its role in advancing both the understanding and the treatment of this major threat to health."
 Of 55 centers competing for the honor and opportunity to conduct clinical drug trials for AIDS treatments, Georgetown is one of seven new adult sites NIAID selected to add to 21 renewed sites, and nine new sites for studies with children and adolescents.
 "It is an honor to be selected to participate with this network of other universities across the country in combating this national problem," Principle Investigator and Director of Georgetown's HIV Clinical Program Phillip F. Pierce, MD, said. "The District community will be well-served by this effort."
 Other Georgetown researchers involved in the project include: Princy N. Kumar, MD, who will provide quality assurance and support to the institutional review board; and James P. Lavelle, MD, who will assist in recruitment of the 150 patients annually who will become part of the trial. Dr. Young will coordinate the community advisory board.
 -0- 1/31/92
 /CONTACT: Jodie Klein of Georgetown University Medical Center, 202-687-5100/ CO: Georgetown University Medical Center ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU:


SB-MK -- DC023 -- 5729 01/31/92 15:34 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 31, 1992
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