Worldwide sales of the HIV fusion inhibitor Fuzeon grew 54% to $208 million last year, bringing the company behind the drug, Trimeris, to its first profit in the fourth quarter.

Fuzeon (enfuvirtide) is sold by Roche and broke the $200 million barrier in its second full year since launch. The product’s performance lifted Trimeris to a net profit of $3.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2005, compared to a loss of $5.7 million a year earlier.

For 2005 as a whole, Trimeris’ reported a net loss of $8 million, down 80%, on revenues of $19 million, made up of milestone payments, royalties on Fuzeon sales and collaboration funding. Trimeris has an ongoing alliance with Roche on the development of new fusion inhibitors.