China HIV drug to control disease transmission

May 16, 2019

HIV remains a global health concern despite numerous treatment methods, but a new drug promises better outcomes over a similar treatment used for the past decade.

Chinese researchers at the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica and the Kunming Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Yunnan, China, have developed a safe CCR5 receptor antagonist as a potential therapy for treatment of AIDS. Under normal circumstances, the CCR5 receptor allows the virus to enter human cells and replicate. The antagonists then inhibit HIV replication at the early stage of infection by acting on theCCR5 receptor.

The current marketed treatment was developed by drug company Pfizer and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2007, but it has limited use and life-threatening side effects.In particular, the drug inhibits the normal function of some enzymes that help to metabolise other drugs. The new drug, however, has not shown such defects, and remains effective to reduce transmission of HIV.

The number Chinese citizens with HIV was about 850,000 as of September 2018, with about 80,000 people infected each year according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC). The new drug will hopefully be incorporated into a HIV treatment regime that will help these patients live longer, healthier lives. Patents for the new drug has also been granted in other countries such as the US, Europe, Russia and Australia.


Category: Features, Pharmaceuticals

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