A Hepatitis Drug That May Cure Glaxo

With Zantac going off patent, lamivudine-which also fights AIDS-comes to the rescue

To hear Glaxo CEO Richard B. Sykes tell it, the discovery of 3TC was "pure serendipity." The same might be said for Glaxo's good fortune in nabbing marketing rights to the hugely successful AIDS drug seven years ago. Now sold by Glaxo Wellcome PLC as Epivir, the drug is part of the combination therapy revolutionizing AIDS treatment. In 1996, the first full year since its launch, Epivir produced $315 million in revenues. Analysts say sales could reach $840 million by 2000.

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