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Viral Entry Inhibitor - PRO 140
Jun 25, 2006

I have read several articles on Progenics new drug PRO 140, the viral entry inhibitor. Most of the articles discuss this drug as a possible treatment for people who have already developed resistance to existing treatments. It seems to me that since this drug blocks the entry of the virus into the CD4 cell that, if approved, it could also be considered when choosing an initial regimen to combat HIV even during the early stages. Is there a reason that this drug is not being platformed as a potential early treatment?



Response from Dr. Pierone

PRO 140 is a humanized mouse monoclonal antibody directed against CCR5, one of the co-receptors for HIV entry. In HIV-negative subjects it appears to be safe and coats CCR5 lymphocytes for an extended period of time. If shown to be effective in suppressing viral levels in humans it could potentially be useful for HIV treatment. Since it is administered by intravenous infusion and has a very long duration of effect, it might be able to be infused every month or even less frequently. This long duration of action is double-edged, but in general would be a positive attribute. But the need for intravenous administration is the main reason one would expect this agent to be studied in treatment-experienced subjects.

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