New AIDS Drugs Can Help Those Not Responding To Current Treatments – Phase 3 Clinical Trial Results Revealed in Los Angeles HIV

New AIDS Drugs Can Help Those Not Responding To Current Treatments – Phase 3 Clinical Trial Results Revealed in Los Angeles HIV

Infects via CD4, CXCR4, CCR5
Receptors - Arizona Education

(Best Syndication) Researchers say that two new drugs may benefit patients with AIDS who are now running out of medical options. The results of phase 3 clinical trials of the new drugs were announced Wednesday at the 14th annual Retrovirus Conference in Los Angeles.

John Mellors moderated the discussion involving the drugs raltegravir and maraviroc. He said "I would not be going out on a limb to say these results are as exciting for experienced patients as were the results of the original trials with combination highly active antiretroviral therapy." Mellors is professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

Raltegravir, an investigative integrase inhibitor being developed by Merck, could reduce HIV in the blood to undetectable levels in 61 percent of the patients, according to a report from United Press International (UPI). This is compared to 5 percent of patients with the same background of drugs who did not receive raltegravir.

The researchers have begun focusing on enzymes that are needed for the virus to replicate. Integrase is one of three enzymes required for viral replication. Two other drugs that inhibit the other enzymes, protease and reverse transcriptase are already being used in multi-drug combinations.

The other drug, Maraviroc, is a CCR5 inhibitor. It works by blocking the CCR5 receptor used by the virus to help it enter cells. According to the report, Maraviroc provided superior results when taken twice per day compared to once a day. Both of the regimens, however, were superior to combinations without maraviroc.

By blocking the entrance into cells, it prevents the virus from replicating. Although the drugs will not cure AIDS, it will reduce the infections to undetectable viral levels. Reducing the levels is important because this will lessen the chance of the virus mutating. New drugs will always be needed because the virus will mutate.

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By Jeffrey Workman
Best Syndication Health Writer

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