HIV How Close Are We To A Cure

December 13, 2004 — Researchers at Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J., have developed a trio of drugs they believe can destroy HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, according to a medical journal report.

The drugs, called DAPYs, mimic the virus by changing shape, which enables them to interfere with the way HIV attacks the immune system.

Tests conducted in conjunction with Johnson & Johnson have shown the drugs to be easily absorbed with minimal side effects.

They also can be taken in one pill, in contrast to the drug cocktails currently taken by many AIDS patients.

A research team led by Rutgers chemist Eddy Arnold prepublished details of the most promising of the three drugs, known as R278474, last month in the electronic edition of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

The research has targeted reverse transcriptase, a submiscroscopic protein composed of two coiled chains of amino acids. It is considered HIV’s key protein.

“Reverse transcriptase is very important in the biology of AIDS,” said Stephen Smith, the head of the department of infectious diseases at St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark.

“If you can really inhibit reverse transcriptase, you can stop AIDS.”

The optimism about R278474 stems from its potential to interfere with an enzyme that the virus needs to copy and insert itself into a human cell.

690cookie-checkHIV How Close Are We To A Cure

HIV How Close Are We To A Cure

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