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INtergrase Inhibitor Drug Trial
Aug 16, 2002

Next week I start participating in a drug trial for an intergrase inhibitor though a local HIV organization. I have not been able to find much information about this class of HIV drugs. Can you please provide me with any information as to what I can expect with this class of HIV drugs and how if effectively attacks the HIV virus? Thank you for any information you can provide.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question and participation in clinical trials.

HIV integrase is a HIV-encoded protein that is essential for the life cycle of the virus. The enzyme (integrase) is responsible for inserting the genetic material of HIV into the human chromosome. Because the enzyme has no human counterpart, it is an attractive target for drug discovery.

Until recently, there have not been compounds that could be tested in humans. Recently, two groups, one from Merck and another from a joint program- Shionogi-GSK have announced candidate compounds that inhibit the HIV integrase in vitro.

The Merck compound is still in early development, the Shionogi-GSK compound (called S-1360) is now entering Phase II clinical trials-- trials designed to establish the correct dose of the drug to use in larger pivotal studies.

The time to approval of these drugs might still be two or more years off, but their promise is very exciting, particularly in combination with other new classes of medications, like fusion inhibitors (T-20, for example).

Thanks again for your participation. -BY

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