Shares of



were slammed in late trading Wednesday after the company cut the sales forecast for its HIV treatment Fuzeon and said it will delay an application for a needle-free version of the drug.

Trimeris said it now expects Fuzeon's 2006 sales to total $126 million to $134 million, down from a prior forecast of $140 million to $150 million. The company still, however, expects to turn a profit for the year.

"Slower than anticipated adoption of the newest HIV protease inhibitors has provided less momentum than we expected for boosting new FUZEON prescriptions, and we have adjusted our guidance accordingly," said Trimeris Chief Executive Steven Skolsky.

Fuzeon, which Trimeris co-developed with Swiss giant


is the first in a class of drugs called fusion inhibitors, which are based on the concept of blocking viral entry into host cells. Protease inhibitors, more common HIV drugs, block an enzyme needed for HIV's reproduction.

Roche and Trimeris have been seeking to develop a needle-free injection device for Fuzeon, and the companies said Wednesday that the

Food and Drug Administration

indicated that certain adverse events related to the device require additional information.

The FDA has requested additional safety information on the nature and occurrence of injection site reactions. Based on the response, Roche and Trimeris don't expect to file an application for the needle-free administration of Fuzeon at least until the first half of 2007.

Shares of Fuzeon recently tumbled $1.82, or 20%, to $7.24 in after-hours trading.