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New HIV meds/blocking entry
Sep 20, 2000

I know about the new meds for HIV that are in trials and the title for them entry inhibitors. I also know that the only way of taking them right now is by injection. My question is are they looking for another way of taking this drug? And in your opinion is it possible for them to make it in pill form? Thanks

Response from Dr. Stryker

Blocking HIV from entering cells in the first place is certainly an attractive idea -- all the currently available agents work after entry of the virus into a cell. One new drug, called T-20, has shown promise in blocking viral fusion with human cells, and yes, it must be given by injection. Thus far, no oral version is available or likely in the near future. Larger studies of T 20 in treatment-experienced patients are planned for the near future.

Several other entry-blocking drugs are working their way through development, and show promise when used with T-20. These compounds block HIV entry by a method which is different than that used by T-20. PRO 140 and PRO 542 are two such agents under development by Progenics Pharmaceuticals, and early in vitro studies are encouraging. Given what we know about the possible toxicities of existing HIV treatments, these new approaches are welcome and urgently needed. Stay tuned in the coming year as further reports emerge about these and similar approaches.


Rick Stryker, M.D., M.P.H.

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