07 August 2007

New AIDS drug approved

U.S. regulators approved Pfizer's AIDS drug Selzentry - the first in a new class of oral HIV medicines

Pfizer Inc said on Monday that U.S. regulators approved its AIDS drug Selzentry, the first in a new class of oral HIV medicines.

Selzentry is the first drug designed to keep the HIV virus that causes AIDS from entering healthy immune cells. Older AIDS medicines attack the virus itself.

The drug, also known as maraviroc, blocks the CCR5 co-receptor that serves as a main doorway for the HIV virus into immune cells.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Selzentry for use in patients who have tried other medicines and for those for whom a diagnostic test has confirmed their HIV strain is linked to the CCR5 receptor.

The world's largest drugmaker said it expects the drug to be available next month.

Pfizer said in June that the FDA would approve the drug once certain conditions had been met.

The New York-based company is counting on new medicines like Selzentry to help drive profits as several blockbuster medicines lose patent protection and its top-selling Lipitor cholesterol treatment faces strong competition.

Industry analysts have projected annual Selzentry sales of about $500 million by 2011. – (Reuters Health)

Read more:
Picking the right Aids drug
Aids drug still free


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

HIV/Aids expert

Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria before working for an HIV/AIDS NPO in Soweto for many years. She was named one of the Mail & Guardian's Top 200 Young South Africans in 2012.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules