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Concerns about future medication
Apr 1, 2005

Dr. Young, If the market is truly "mature" for initial therapy, are companies really trying to find novel drugs to replace antivirals? Is the fury to develope something "new" as big as it was in 1994? My concern is based on market share. It sounds like a new drug will really have to be different to make it. What are your thoughts?

Response from Dr. Young

Thank you for your post.

You raise some very important points about HIV drug discovery. It's clear that we do have a number of very good first line treatments for HIV and that there must be some way for companies to recover their investment in drug discovery in order to continue to research new products.

Fortunately, there is continued interest in HIV for a number of reasons, despite the fact that the domestic or European market place is already populated with many products. Why this is, is something that you'd have to ask the drug companies specifically, but I'll speculate that there must be the perception of the ability to garner a return on investment or that there are other positive spin-offs of such discovery-- whether that be public relations or the generation of technologies that will have other additional benefits (such as guiding discovery for other diseases, like hepatitis C).

You're also correct in that much of drug discovery isn't directed at making a new version of an old drug, but rather to work on new aspects or targets-- something that is sufficiently different and better as to have a chance of capturing a market share, because of meeting an unmet need in the treatment community.

Just my thoughts....

Thanks for your query, BY



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