Drugs in Development: New Promise
Even with sixteen antiretrovirals approved in the United States for the treatment of HIV, new drugs and combinations are urgently needed. Most current regimens involve difficult dosing schedules, lots of pills, and short- and long-term side effects. Over time, HIV can become resistant to all of the approved drugs, no matter the degree of adherence. People who started treatment years ago, who were infected with drug-resistant virus, or who have had trouble with adherence for whatever reason, are experiencing treatment failure and have few, if any, treatment options left.
This issue of ACRIA Update focuses on antiretrovirals that are being developed to deal with some of these problems -- new formulations of old drugs, second generation drugs in existing classes, drugs like entry inhibitors that target HIV at different points in its life cycle, and drugs that are in very early stages of development. We may never hear of some of these drugs again; the promise that some have shown in test tube and animal studies won't achieve similar results in people. Others may be discontinued as pharmaceutical companies merge and corporate priorities change. Knowing about drugs in the pipeline can spur us to take action when development stalls. It's equally important to understand that new drug development is ongoing and that the pipeline is filled with candidates that offer promise.
This article was provided by AIDS Community Research Initiative of America. It is a part of the publication ACRIA Update. Visit ACRIA's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.