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U.S. News

Rogaine as Possible HIV Cure?

September 21, 2011

The quest for low-cost HIV treatment may lie in finding virus-fighting properties among the thousands of drugs already approved by the Food and Drug Administration, according to Vojo Deretic, chair of molecular genetics and microbiology department at the University of New Mexico.

Deretic's team has received a $1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to study existing drugs that could increase a cell's ability to combat HIV. The researchers are focused on a cellular process called autophagy, or Greek for "self-eating," in which cells produce specialized cellular subunits, called autophagosomes, that remove unwanted material. Thousands of drugs will be examined in search of compounds that encourage cells to produce autophagosomes in large numbers, said Deretic.

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