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Desperate Measures: The Fight for ATC, a New NRTI to Treat Multidrug-Resistant HIV

November 17, 2015

It seems we've come full circle. I can remember a time in the late '90s/very early 2000s, when the sheer amount of "me too" drugs pouring out of the pipeline seemed to me, well, lazy on the part of Big Pharma. At first the NRTIs, protease inhibitors and NNRTIs were Godsends; but after a much-needed few of each were approved, it seemed that the pharmaceutical companies were taking the easy way out by finding something that worked, tweaking them a bit, slapping a new name on them, chucking them in a bottle and calling it a day.

"Where's the new stuff?" I remember thinking; the new classes of HIV drugs that hit different targets other than protease and nucleoside. Why weren't they pursuing that?

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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Ian (Malaysia) Sun., Jan. 24, 2016 at 6:27 am UTC
I am an HIV care provider and was not even aware of this drug. Indeed, there is huge vacuum in the NRTI group and once somebody develops resistance or TDF-related renal injury there is nothing really there to use. We call it "the backbone", implying it is a very important part of the regimen, but clearly developments of new backbone drugs have been neglected. This really reminds me of the late 1980s when the Pharma and the FDA had to be pushed hard by brave people from ACT UP to register new drug. In the end, it will take the activists to push it.
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Comment by: C. C. Igbojionu (Portharcourt) Sat., Jan. 23, 2016 at 1:47 am UTC
Dear Jean, if this ARV will bring cure, to this world of HIV, why not involve the government for more solutions. Thanks
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Comment by: jitty Mon., Nov. 23, 2015 at 9:50 am UTC
how about asking Elton John and/or Charlie Sheen to put some coins for making this new ARV a reality?
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Comment by: Jeannie Wraight (New York) Fri., Nov. 20, 2015 at 10:29 am UTC
Hi Jim.
Good question.
We've gone down a path of only supporting 'bigger and better' drugs. Once a day, one pill a day regimens. This is the focus. This is where the money is for Pharma. Unfortunately, combo drugs don't work for everyone. Some people need more options, but as they are the minority, they are forgotten. Most advocates/activists are working on PrEP and stigma and don't want to be bothered with something as simple and mundane as an NRTI, I guess. It doesn't make sense to me either. Please like our page on FB and share about ATC if you are able to. Peace.
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Comment by: Jim (Tweed) Wed., Nov. 18, 2015 at 12:50 am UTC
why wont Govt or pharma support it?
why dont others on thebody help get the word out
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