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The Coming Crisis in HIV Drug Development

June 16, 2008

The last few years have seen tremendous progress in treating people with advanced and drug-resistant HIV. Four powerful drugs became available that either overcame drug resistance (Prezista [darunavir, TMC-114], Intelence [etravirine, TMC-125]) or were from entirely new classes [Selzentry (maraviroc), Isentress (raltegravir)].

This marked an important and unique moment in HIV drug development. Never before have so many new and effective drugs come out so close together. People with extensive experience taking HIV drugs have been able to put together powerful regimens with two or more fully active agents -- often for the first time.

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Reader Comments:

Comment by: ayemoba olatunbosun (nigeria, abuja) Tue., Jun. 23, 2009 at 8:00 am EDT
bottom line is lets keep all hope alive even when it seems do dim. for now the best cure is LOVE THEM, LOVE THEM ALL. IT GIVES AND EXPANDS LIFE AND MAKE DREAMS COMES TRUE
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Comment by: nick (ga) Mon., Apr. 27, 2009 at 7:03 pm EDT
i think that the cure for this hiv or better treatments will come when we least expect!!
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Comment by: GE (New York) Thu., Oct. 30, 2008 at 10:43 am EDT
Don't stop working on this.
Please
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Comment by: michelle (New York) Fri., Oct. 17, 2008 at 1:46 pm EDT
We live in a world where commerce is put before human life. The advances in drug treatments is a great thing but it is not the solution we need. End this epidemic now. Stop the genocide of human life.
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Comment by: Paul (UK) Fri., Sep. 5, 2008 at 11:50 pm EDT
Today the world learnt of a new vacinne to combat every or at best most types of known FLU virus by provoking the immune response to look at the protines inside the virus as opposed to the changing protiens on the skin on the virus thus the host's infected cells were then destroyed, it was hinted that this method of the way vacinnes work will be of benefit to many other contractable diseses, HIV was one of thoese listed as a hopeful future cure (ok, how many times have we heard this) however may be this time theres some substance in the claim, this is based on the notion that there has been a cure for something that was thought of as never obtainable, flu, a multipurpose vacinne. the common cold could be next on the hit list even? lets hope the reseachers follow this as well as every other avenue for provention and cures. there must be 100 million people with HIV worldwide many people don't even know they are infected, the money in a cure or vacinne for this disese would make the company responsible very weathly, so lets hope they continue to realise that there is alot of money to make and that they continue to plough money into the reseach. there is a cure, we just haven't found it yet.
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Comment by: Jessica Thu., Aug. 7, 2008 at 10:46 am EDT
Fauci still hopefull for an aids vaccine.
Last year,during IAS 2007,doc Markowitz
said that integrase inhibitors and other promising research avenues such as gene therapy meant eradicating HIV was a realistic possibility.
This year, during hiv meeting in Mexico, Fauci reconfirmed that hiv eradication or cure is feasible.
What it is happening?...
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Comment by: Jessica Wed., Aug. 6, 2008 at 11:35 am EDT
Doc Fauci believes that hiv eradication can be achieved in some people at least.

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/conditions/08/05/fauci.hiv.column/
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Comment by: me Fri., Aug. 1, 2008 at 7:01 am EDT
A cure is out there but it just hasn't been found yet and it wont be found if the medical industry continues to be pessimistic and states there will be no cure, great, maybe they should just focus on curing baldness, I am sure they would make more money out of that, because that is what it is all about, the almighty dollar. I personally believe that there needs to be a global saturation in the media for the education of the public and governments of the devastation this disease causes and the need of monies for funding research, the subject has been swept under the carpet long enough.I understand there are some great proactive scientists out there (thank god), maybe the others should read a Louise Hay book or the book by Mahlon Johnson.
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Comment by: Jessica Wed., Jul. 30, 2008 at 2:04 am EDT
Paul Dalton has reviewed his thought about kp-1461. Probably the things are not so bad. It is very important this note -: most people had not experienced significant changes in viral load, but a few had . - Few had hiv reduction - means that kp-1461 really works and and this sound to me very good. He also sad that "the discrepancy" are not related with the compound itself.
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Comment by: My Belief Mon., Jul. 28, 2008 at 3:40 pm EDT
Unfortunately I believe that current focus is one of financial gain as opposed to humanitarian gain, this will always be the case while huge profits are being made, if a financial carrot was waved in front of the noses of big pharmas to develope a cure (it would need to be more than current revenue expectations from current drug sales for years to come i.e. $100's of billions) i would be very confident that it would be found sooner than most expect, only 10-15 years from now when everyone currently HIV+ have exhausted the current available drugs will we see anything like a cure hit the market, that is my prediction based solely on finacial projection and revenue as opposed to human health, the current drugs and variations of them will be exhausted by then.
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Comment by: Johnny1 Sun., Jul. 27, 2008 at 3:32 am EDT
It is not official yet, but it seems that kp-1461 is not completely a failure, and Koronispharma is very likely to start an upcoming phase 2.
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Comment by: Wed., Jul. 23, 2008 at 5:09 am EDT
Many promising approaches to cure hiv are under study....Which one? Please mister Dalton, would you be so kind to inform us about these promising approaches?
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Comment by: Tom Tue., Jul. 22, 2008 at 10:52 pm EDT
The real "crisis" is the last twenty years of no focus on preserving the immune systems with the least toxic treatments. For the last twenty years, people have been expecting science to cure HIV disease in the near-dead while doing little to preserve the things that might be able to clear HIV with a helping hand ***the immune systems***, should a "helping hand" in the form of a novel and effective treatment be found.

The TAT vaccine or DermaVir vaccine might be such a "helping hand". But, without a strong immune system to "grab" the "helping hand", these vaccines) may look like complete failures - only because they weren't tested in someone who received early treatment (which preserved their bone marrow, thymus, lymph nodes, dendritic cells, etc).

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Comment by: Peter Sun., Jul. 20, 2008 at 5:51 pm EDT
I am very confident that one day a genius researcher will come with a tremendous result that can make life easy for millions of poeple in the world. My understanding of it is that pharamceutical companies are not the only hope we have left to develop a new medicine which can eradicate HIV. Any scientist working in governamental institutions can do that and that is what I am hoping for.
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Comment by: JA Sat., Jul. 19, 2008 at 2:22 pm EDT
I think in the very near future we need to look at the development of new drugs that are less toxic and much easier to tolerate, maybe a way to keep a steady level of drug in the blood stream, that means taking meds less frequent but keeping levels able to supress the virus...

... We know current drugs won't cure this illness, but medical science has to be developed enough now to try other methods, a way to permanently surpress the virus and stop it replicating is what we need, the money needs threw into this and it needs to be the main focus over the next 5 years!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Comment by: Paul Wed., Jul. 16, 2008 at 7:35 pm EDT
Paul here: We do need a cure. While many scientists have grown quite pessimistic on developing a cure, others are quite enthusiastic. If AIDS activism has taught us one thing, it should be that you only get what you demand -- so we must never stop demanding a cure.
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Comment by: ap Tue., Jul. 15, 2008 at 3:38 am EDT
To the researchers reading this article- thank you, and please keep up the search. We need a cure now, we want a cure now and we have hope and faith that you will find it for us soon. And until such time as we can have that cure, we plead for better, less toxic drugs. I believe that a cure is possible, no matter how much negativity surrounds the notion. Please help us.
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Comment by: Mon., Jul. 14, 2008 at 10:27 am EDT
HIV is a very tricky virus to cure, but scientist have lost the confedence to try and cure this chronic illness that is destroying good lives, scientist have to work in and help each other with data, that is the only way to find a cure... goverments need to support under funded projects that look promising in curing this hiv illness... the current drugs just keep people alive, we want to LIVE
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Comment by: Jessica Sat., Jul. 12, 2008 at 4:54 pm EDT
I m still waiting for the release from Koronispharma about the discrepancy in the lab test.
KP-1461 was supposed to be a cure or something like that.
I m very very curios regard this release.
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Comment by: x Fri., Jul. 11, 2008 at 1:07 pm EDT
l think HIV research hiv groups have lost the eye of the tiger for a cure... they need to be more aggressive and try things from left field... its not happening at all.... hiv numbers are increasing at a rapid rate, at worst the future drugs have to be less toxic.. and better to take.. sometimes l think hiv research people just don't have the urgency or guts to try new things..
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Comment by: John2038 Thu., Jul. 10, 2008 at 3:13 pm EDT
1) There is a lot that we can learn from the existing studies, if we group them and look at them with as many as possible perspective.
In others words, there are probably, IMHO, a lot of data available actually that we can (cross-)analyse to discover/establish new conclusions, not intended initially.

2) The best way to fight the virus is to synchronize world wide the reasearch.
But this will never happen. And by the way, if a cure if find, it will be more by luck that due to a systematical approach.

3) The research on immunotherapies, fundamental research (incl. simulation) and instrumentation is totally insufficient. OPAL is one example among others.

4) The discovery of 273 proteins needed by the HIV must serve as a base to develop new drugs.
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Comment by: Meg Thu., Jul. 10, 2008 at 12:47 am EDT
I agree that there needs to be more treatment activists and more emphasis on a cure/new meds. Hopefully we will also see more people going into science who are focused on fighting HIV.

-DailyDoseofQueer.com
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