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New drugs
Nov 1, 2005

Hi.

I keep hearing about the fact that there are so many HIV drugs in the pipeline, however, only 1, ie. Tipranavir, has been approved this year.

When are the next wave of drugs due to be licensed, and which these look the most promising, particularly in terms of those which are specifically designed for unmet resistance needs?

It is all well and good for the drug companies to keep designing drugs which are to be used as first line therapies, however, I firmly believe they should be looking at the wider picture.

I would greatly welcome your comments.

Kind regards,

John.

Response from Dr. Wohl

Dear John-

My feeling is that a new drug a year for HIV would not be such a bad thing at all, particularly if the drugs are novel and fill a niche not well covered by another pre-existing agent.

The last few years have seen the release of some important meds including atazanavir and tipranavir. Additionally, while not really new drugs, combination pills like Truvada and Epzicom are valuable additions that reduce pill burden and dosing frequency. The new formulation of Kaletra will also be tremendous as it takes a very powerful therapy and makes it easier to take with hopefully less adverse effects.

Most of the newer drugs are actually for the treatment experienced. Tipranavir is a good example of a drug that is designed specifically for the patient who has been on other protease inhibitors. TMC114 will likely be the next new agent approved. It also is active against virus with protease inhibitor resistance, adding additional salvage options for those who have few to none.

Many are working hard on CCR5 inhibitors and Merck has an intergrase inhibitor under study that looks very promising.

I think the future looks pretty good for new therapies.

DW



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