New drug offers potential to purge persistent HIV
27 July 2012 15:44 in Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs
A new study published in the Nature journal has demonstrated the potential of a cutting-edge drug to dislodge reservoirs of hidden virus in patients receiving treatment for HIV.
Scientists from Merck Research Laboratories collaborated with researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Harvard School of Public Health, the National Cancer Institute and the University of California at San Diego to carry out the study, which focused on histone deacetylase inhibitors.
It was found that these compounds were able to attack latency within dormant virus pools in a translational clinical study.
This means the pioneering drug offers great potential as a means of directly combating and eradicating latent infections of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Dr Daria Hazuda, vice-president at Merck Research Laboratories, said: "We believe that the disruption and clearance of these virus reservoirs is a critical first step to the daunting challenge of finding a cure for HIV/AIDS."
Merck Research Laboratories is a division of Merck Sharp and Dohme, the manufacturer of prominent and successful HIV therapies such as Isentress.
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