Before rhNGF I had lost the ability to walk a block or climb a flight of stairs," McElroy wrote in May.
Genentech had developed rhNGF for a different-and potentially much more profitable--market: the more than 4 million Americans who suffer from diabetic neuropathy.
Doctors who conducted the HW trials saw very positive results: rhNGF didn't make patients sick or interact with other drugs (some AIDS drugs can bring on additional illness by interacting with other medicines), patients got great relief from pain, and there was evidence of modest neurological improvement.
Last April, though, Genentech pulled the plug on further rhNGF studies when the drug proved ineffective in the diabetes trial.
According to McArthur, he was sent a reply saying that Genentech would not provide rhNGF for future studies.
Genentech says it will start distributing rhNGF to trial participants who want it.