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Why All The Excitment About Entry Inhibitors?

Feb 27, 2002

Dr. Young: Hello. Why is there such excitement with entry inhibitors? Will T20 and T1249 later to be just as infective for many HIV infected as HAART has? Sorry if I sound too cynical, but the past is littered with much hearlded HIV "magic bullets" just to later proven inefective for many. What is your take on these drugs? Thanks for the excellent service you provide.

Response from Dr. Young

Anytime a new class of drugs shows promise, there is a lot of interest and excitement.

Such is the attention that entry inhibitors have received over the past several years. The first drugs of this class to see human trials were the inhibitors T-20 and T-1249. The former is now in phase III clinical trials and show considerable promise; as expected the compound retains activity among persons with resistance to currently approved drugs. These drugs may have a role in the treatment of persons with drug resistance, but the delivery of the drug is problematic, as it requires daily injections.

Other entry inhibitors have also been in the news of late, but are very early in drug development: SCH-C, an orally delivered entry inhibitor from Schering-Plough; AMD-3100 from AnorMED. Both drugs have been studied in a handful of HIV infected persons to date. Long-term antiviral effect and safety of these are yet to be fully established. Several other companies are also working on entry inhibitors and have compounds in the pre-clinical stage of development.

I agree that there are two many exciting preliminary stories about the next magic drug bullet for HIV treatment. We need to be patient for careful scientifically valid (and confirmed) observations before placing new drugs into the landscape of treatment options for persons with HIV. Rushing to judgement usally results in premature conclusions and false hopes. BY

Viral Loads - Length of Time to Drug Failure
AZT monotherapy in 2001

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