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Monday, April 9th 2007

New AIDS Drug

A drug, Darunavir, is showing apparently remarkable efficacy in lowering the virus counts of people with treatment resistant HIV.

Darunavir, part of the decade-old class of drugs known as protease inhibitors, lowered virus levels to the undetectable range in 45 percent of patients after 48 weeks.

By comparison, 10 percent of patients on other drug regimens showed similar declines.

“The results were very, very good — in many ways, perhaps, better than anyone would’ve expected,” said Dr. Rodger MacArthur, an infectious-diseases specialist at Wayne State University in Detroit, who was not affiliated with the study.

Despite the ongoing clinical trial testing, the drug is actually already available.

Darunavir, trade named Prezista, was approved last year before normal testing was completed to meet the urgent need of those patients with drug-resistant HIV.

The approval required the drug’s developer, Tibotec Pharmaceuticals Ltd. of Yardley, Pa., to continue safety and efficacy testing.

I haven’t read the study and I know incredibly little about the treatment of HIV. But all the quotes from those who do know seem to be enthusiastically optimistic. This appears to be good news in the battle against drug resistant HIV.

As I write the website for The Lancet, where the study is published, is down.

H/T Reddit