April 10, 1989 |
At this time two years ago, hope was high that a Hahnemann Medical School professor and the small research firm that he headed had discovered a drug - called Ampligen - that would halt the scourge of AIDS. Today, although research on the drug continues on a small scale, analysts discount its potential. And as for the professor and his company . . . HEM Research Inc. not only fired Dr. William A. Carter from his twin posts of chief executive officer and chief of research but, in legal papers filed in Common Pleas Court in Philadelphia, accused him of charging a desperate AIDS patient $1 million to receive the drug as a participant in its clinical trials.
August 11, 1990 |
Major new clinical trials have been approved for a controversial drug that proponents say may prolong indefinitely the lives of patients infected with HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS, Food and Drug Administration officials said yesterday. The trials for Ampligen, an anti-viral compound, will begin next month and involve a total of 135 patients in as many as eight cities, including Philadelphia, according to officials of HEM Research Inc., the Center City firm whose chief scientist, William A. Carter, is a co-inventor of the drug.
November 1, 1988 |
Since March, Daniel J. DeVito, an AIDS patient, had been taking an experimental drug known as Ampligen at Hahnemann University Hospital. He said that he gained more than 40 pounds and recovered from AIDS-related pneumonia, and that he believed the drug "turned around" his health. But on Oct. 13 the Du Pont Co. and HEM Research Inc., a Philadelphia firm, said they were halting experimental drug trials on about 300 patients nationwide because Ampligen had not been found to be effective.
April 20, 1997 |
It was the day after Christmas, and Tracy and Dianne Evans were eating dinner with Dianne's parents at their home in Bucks County. Dianne, 27, wasn't feeling well, and the mood was somber. "I can't take this anymore," she said softly. "I won't continue to simply 'exist.' " Her husband and parents had feared this day might come. "How long do we have?" her father asked. Not long, Dianne replied. She'd been ill for nearly a decade. She was tired of spending 22 hours a day in bed, tired of using a shower stool, tired of incidents such as the one when she fell asleep face-first into her cereal bowl.
July 17, 1990 |
Hem Research of Philadelphia said it will get $2.75 million under a settlement reached with Du Pont Co., regarding a lawsuit Du Pont brought against Hem in April 1989. Under the settlement, Hem Research said, the suit was dismissed, and Du Pont will "re-convey" 2.7 million shares of Hem stock back to Hem. Du Pont will also give up all its rights to the drug Ampligen under the joint venture agreement, including first refusal rights and royalty rights, Hem said. Ampligen has been used in clinical testing to treat AIDS patients.
July 29, 1990 |
Daniel DeVito got the bad news in March 1986: He had the early signs of AIDS. As a registered nurse who worked with terminally ill patients, DeVito was determined to get treatment while he was relatively symptom-free. But by 1987, his health had deteriorated so much that he could not work. Then he learned that an experimental drug called Ampligen was about to be tested on about 300 men in seven U.S. cities. He volunteered for the study at Hahnemann University Hospital. In October 1988, after about seven months on Ampligen, DeVito was notified that the trials were being called off. Interim results, he and other patients were told, showed that Ampligen did not work.
October 17, 1988 |
All may not be lost for HEM Research, a small Philadelphia company that manufactures the drug Ampligen, even though a major national clinical trial of the drug was halted last week after researchers concluded it was not living up to its original promise in fighting the virus that causes AIDS. Ampligen did not slow the progression of pre-AIDS conditions to AIDS in the 330 patients participating in the controlled study, researchers said. The study was discontinued when the 20th of the patients involved developed AIDS.
October 2, 1991 |
Patients with severely debilitating forms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) improved significantly after receiving the experimental drug Ampligen, a Philadelphia researcher reported yesterday. The six-month trial also showed that a potential CFS blood test developed at Temple University School of Medicine effectively diagnosed the disease, according to the researcher, William A. Carter. Once dismissed as the "yuppie flu," CFS in some cases can leave its victims too exhausted to rise from their beds.
June 5, 1987 |
An experimental drug has been shown to suppress the AIDS virus and strengthen the body's immune system in a pilot study of 10 patients, a team of medical scientists from Hahnemann and Temple Universities and six other research centers report. The 22 scientists found that all 10 of the patients with AIDS or AIDS- related diseases who were treated with the drug Ampligen showed some improvement in their immune systems, according to the report in today's issue of the British medical journal the Lancet.
November 3, 1987 |
Du Pont Co. and HEM Research Inc. have formed a joint venture to develop a promising drug for treatment of AIDS-related complex, or ARC. The condition, which affects many people infected by the AIDS virus, is considered a precursor to emergence of full-blown AIDS. Du Pont agreed in June to finance a six-month clinical study of HEM's experimental drug, Ampligen, and obtained the right of first refusal on development of the substance. Du Pont also purchased an undisclosed minority interest in HEM at that time.