MORRISVILLE,Sales of the HIV drug Fuzeon topped $200 million in 2005, up 54 percent from its first full year of commercial availability, Trimeris reported after the markets closed on Tuesday.

Of that annual amount, nearly $70 million took place in the fourth quarter.

U.S. and Canada sales increased by 32 percent to $112.7 million.
However, international sales increase at a greater rate, up 93 percent to $95.5 million.

Trimeris (Nasdaq: TRMS) manufactures and sells Fuzeon on a global basis along with partner Roche. Fuzeon, which must be taken through injection, is designed to prohibit the HIV virus from infecting healthy cells.

“These results were driven by several factors including, the growing acceptance of Fuzeon as a core component of highly suppressive HIV therapy, synergy with new agents and the success of ongoing patient support programs,” said Steven Skolsky, chief executive officer of Trimeris. “We are also very pleased to report that sales in North America were consistent with the guidance issued in early 2005.”

Looking ahead to this year, Trimeris forecast a 24-to-33 percent increase in sales to between $140 million and $150 million in the U.S. and Canadian markets.

Trimeris stock closed at $12.55, up 2 cents, on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Trimeris and Roche announced they had picked two other compounds for development as potential HIV drugs. TR-291144 and TR-290999 are intended to be more potent and also to lessen the possibility of development of resistance as well as having a target of once-weekly dosing.