HIV/Aids

01 March 2007

New options against HIV

Two new HIV/Aids drugs that proved safe and highly effective in clinical trials could offer important new treatment options for patients, experts say.

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Two new HIV/Aids drugs that proved safe and highly effective in clinical trials could offer important new treatment options for patients, experts said at the 14th Annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections held in Los Angeles.

The drugs - Pfizer's maraviroc and Merck's raltegravir - would add two new classes of drugs to the four currently available to fight HIV, the virus that causes Aids, The New York Times reported. Both drugs could receive approval from the US Food and Drug Administration later this year.

If approved, these drugs could prove especially important to tens of thousands of patients infected with HIV that has become resistant to current drugs.

"This is a really remarkable development in the field," Dr John W. Mellors of the University of Pittsburgh said at a news conference at the meeting. Mellors, who was not involved in the studies on the two new drugs but has been a consultant to Merck and Pfizer, compared the findings from the clinical trials on the two drugs to the discovery in the mid-1990s that a cocktail of drugs could significantly extend the lives of HIV patients, The Times reported.

Pfizer has already applied for FDA approval of maraviroc and an FDA advisory panel is scheduled to meet April 24 to discuss the application. Merck says it will submit an application for approval of raltegravir in the second quarter of the year. – (HealthDayNews)

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HIV/Aids Centre

March 2007

 

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HIV/Aids expert

Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria in 2005. She is a patients' rights activist and loves using social media to teach about HIV. She is in private practice in Johannesburg.

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