Recently in HIV/AIDS Drugs Category

Key Hearing Awaits Pfizer Drug


pfizerA panel of outside medical experts is meeting Tuesday to evaluate a Pfizer HIV and AIDS drug that, if approved, would the the first in a new class of treatments. Pfizer is seeking support from the Food and Drug Administration for maraviroc, a pill being targeted at patients for whom other drugs, or drug combinations, have become ineffective.

Maraviroc "could broaden the arsenal of treatments to combat resistant forms" of the virus that causes AIDS, Pfizer told analysts last week when it issued first-quarter results. Maraviroc would be the first new oral class of HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, medicines in more than 10 years, Pfizer said.

clinical trialsLOS ANGELES, CA -- March 6, 2007 -- Raltegravir could be a viable therapeutic option for people with highly drug-resistant strains of HIV, according to findings from 2 studies presented here at the 14th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI).

The drug inhibits the enzyme HIV-1 integrase, making it effective against multi-drug resistant strains of HIV-1 and particularly CCR5-tropic and CXCR4-tropic strains, said investigator David Cooper, MD, director, National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

In a presentation on February 28th, Dr. Cooper discussed the study -- Blocking integrase in treatment Experienced patients with a Novel Compound against HIV: MeRcK, MK-0518 (BENCHMRK)-1 -- which included patients in Europe, Asia/Pacific, and Peru.

India to study if doctors prescribe proper HIV-AIDS drugs


hiv testingIndia's HIV/AIDS agency said it has ordered a survey to see if doctors are providing the correct drugs to people infected with the virus, after a report said many doses are wrong or too strong.

The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) called for the survey in response to findings by the Geneva-based UNAIDS that Indian doctors wrongly prescribed "second-line" drugs, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.

"We want to find out whether doctors are giving the right drugs and the right doses," Sujatha Rao, who heads NACO, told PTI on Sunday.

"We have found out that doctors are not equipped enough," she said.

Merck, Pfizer HIV Drugs May Spark a Second Revolution in Care


HIV binding Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- To look at him, you wouldn't know Mark McClelland is dying.

McClelland, a ramrod-straight 6-foot-4 (1.9 meters), easily strides up the San Francisco hill to his house and tussles playfully with his golden retriever. While McClelland has a form of HIV that's overcome all seven drugs he now takes, he can smile because hope is on the horizon.

Pfizer Inc., Merck & Co. and others are in the final stages of developing drugs that offer unique ways to bar HIV from infecting human cells. For the 65,000 people in the U.S. whose virus, like McClelland's, is resistant to three or more drug types, the new therapies promise to spur the first revolution in care in a decade. The debut of combination therapy in 1996 doubled life expectancy for patients. This latest generation of treatments offers new options to hold off the opportunistic infections that occur when HIV leads to deadly AIDS.

pfizerLOS ANGELES, Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Effective immediately, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest AIDS healthcare, prevention and education provider in the United States which operates free AIDS treatment clinics in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean and Asia, including 13 healthcare centers in California and Florida, has banned pharmaceutical sales representatives from Pfizer Inc., the world's largest drug company, from calling on AHF's medical providers and staff at its healthcare centers. Two weeks ago, AHF filed a lawsuit against Pfizer, the manufacturer of the blockbuster erectile-dysfunction (ED) drug, Viagra (sildenafil citrate), over its irresponsible marketing tactics and advertising for the company's drug.

AHF's move today reinforces its concern over Pfizer's questionable marketing tactics for Viagra that the Foundation believes encourages the recreational use of the popular ED drug, as well as the Foundation's disappointment over the drug giant's lack of response over the past year to repeated concerns raised by AHF. In its letter today (via fax & first class mail) to Pfizer CEO Jeffrey Kindler, AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein and AHF's Chief of Medicine, Charles Farthing, M.D., stated:

Thailand in talks on cheaper AIDS drugs


kaletraThailand said it has opened talks with US drugmaker Abbott Laboratories on lowering the price of an AIDS treatment, which could avoid the need for a generic version Bangkok approved last week.

Thailand has already issued a so-called "compulsory license" for the anti-AIDS drug Kaletra, which effectively breaks the drug's patent and clears the way for the kingdom to either produce or import cheaper generic versions.

Hoping to prevent Thailand from turning to generics, Abbott has agreed to work with the kingdom to find ways of reducing the cost of treatment, the health ministry said.

New compound shows promise in halting HIV spread

medical researchDeveloped by Temple University researchers, 2-5AN6B could someday work as an effective treatment for HIV especially in conjunction with current drug treatments. Their work is published in the January issue of AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses.

A nucleic acid, 2-5AN6B inhibited HIV replication in white blood cells from a group of 18 HIV infected patients by up to 80 percent, regardless of the patients’ treatment regimens.

"A cure for HIV infection remains an elusive goal despite the significant impact of current treatments because of the virus’ ability to adapt to and resist those treatments, and bypass the immune system’s natural defenses," said Robert J. Suhadolnik, Ph.D., prinicipal investigator and professor of biochemistry at Temple University School of Medicine. "This compound prompts the body to restore its natural antiviral defense systems against the invading virus."

Current drugs for HIV work by blocking one of the steps toward virus replication.

Studies of AIDS prevention gels halted


HIV/AIDS researchResearchers have halted two studies of an anti-AIDS vaginal gel in Africa and India after early results suggested it might raise the risk of HIV infection instead of lowering it.

It was "a disappointing and unexpected setback" to efforts to get a simple tool to protect women from the risk of AIDS through sex, the World Health Organization said.

More than half of all new infections with the AIDS virus in Africa involve women and girls. Scientists and groups like the Gates Foundation have long sought a method of protection women could use, even without their partners' knowledge, since many men refuse to use condoms.

The studies were testing Ushercell, a gel containing cellulose sulfate, a cotton-based compound developed by Polydex Pharmaceuticals, based in Toronto.

Delay with AIDS drug restores effectiveness, study says


nevirapinePregnant women who are HIV-positive and take the drug nevirapine during labor to prevent infecting their babies should wait until six months after delivery to resume taking the drug to avoid developing resistance, a new study showed.

By following the findings, to be published in The New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday, mothers could reduce the chance of the AIDS drug failing to work when they need it for themselves.

It translates into very clear policy for how to treat AIDS in new mothers who received nevirapine to protect their infants, said Max Essex, an author of the study, which followed the cases of 218 women in Botswana.

Black men in focus in American HIV drug trial

clinical trialsATLANTA - Aids research in the United States has often focused on gay white men because the virus was identified early in that group and they developed an effective lobbying voice.

But a clinical trial by the Aids Research Consortium of Atlanta is focusing on gay black men, who are not as well organised but who have a higher incidence of the disease.

The trial aims to determine whether an Aids drug is safe for people who are negative for HIV, the virus that causes Aids. It has stirred debate among participants and researchers about gay sexuality within the black community and its attitude to safe sex.