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Old 12-14-2004, 01:37 PM   #1
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Possible AIDS cure?

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U.S. researchers optimistic about new AIDS drugs they believe can destroy HIV Dec. 13, 2004

From: http://mediresource.sympatico.ca/hea...0&news_id=5524

Provided by: Canadian Press

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) - Researchers at Rutgers University have developed a trio of drugs they believe can destroy HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, according to a published report.

The drugs, called DAPYs, mimic the virus by changing shape, which enables them to interfere with the way HIV attacks the immune system.

Tests conducted in conjunction with Johnson and Johnson have shown the drug to be easily absorbed with minimal side effects. It also can be taken in one pill, in contrast to the drug cocktails currently taken by many AIDS patients.

"This could be it," Stephen Smith, the head of the department of infectious diseases at Saint Michael's Medical Center in Newark, told The Sunday Star-Ledger of Newark. "We're all looking for the next class of drugs."

A research team led by Rutgers chemist Eddy Arnold pre-published details of the most promising of the three drugs, known as R278474, last month in the electronic edition of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. Full details will be published in the journal in early 2005.

Arnold, 47, has worked at dismantling the AIDS virus over the last 20 years. He uses X-ray crystallography, a technique to determine the structure of molecules, the smallest particles that can retain all the characteristics of an element or compound.

The research has targeted reverse transcriptase, a submiscroscopic protein composed of two coiled chains of amino acids. It is considered HIV's key protein.

"Reverse transcriptase is very important in the biology of AIDS," Smith said. "If you can really inhibit reverse transcriptase, you can stop AIDS."

The optimism about R278474 stems from its potential to interfere with an enzyme that the virus needs to copy and insert itself into a human cell.

"We're onto something very, very special," Arnold told the newspaper.

Arnold established his lab at Rutgers' Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine in 1987. His current 30-member research team is partnered with Johnson and Johnson subsidiaries Janssen Pharmaceutica and Tibotec-Virco NV.

An important advancement in Arnold's research came in 1990 when Belgian scientist Paul Janssen was added to the collaboration. Janssen, considered a drug pioneer, published a paper that year that described a new drug that blocked reverse transcriptase but caused resistant strains of the virus to pop up too quickly.

Janssen sought out Arnold, who used crystallography to detail the structure of RT. Their work ultimately led to the RT inhibitors.

Two earlier relatives of R278474, called TMC-120 and TMC-125, have showed promise in clinical trials. Johnson and Johnson officials told the newspaper that the two drugs are of major interest to them, but did not discuss R278474.

"We may eventually win the war against HIV/AIDS. That would be an extremely rewarding and satisfying outcome," Arnold said. "But even to have contributed to helping the health and well-being of the many people infected with HIV will be very satisfying if that were to happen."
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Old 12-14-2004, 01:43 PM   #2
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The big question to me would be....if whether or not this drug would be made accessible to the people that really need it. There are already very effective AIDS treatment drugs that are simply not accessible to people in places such as Africa.

Not trying to be a wet blanket...unforetunatly it is the truth. Thanks for sharing this, sweetest.
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Old 12-14-2004, 01:49 PM   #3
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let's all hope.
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Old 12-14-2004, 01:52 PM   #4
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That would be such a wonderful thing
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Old 12-14-2004, 02:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by starsgoblue
The big question to me would be....if whether or not this drug would be made accessible to the people that really need it. There are already very effective AIDS treatment drugs that are simply not accessible to people in places such as Africa.

There may be a lot of treatments, but no cure. I hope this is a cure.
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Old 12-14-2004, 02:03 PM   #6
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This could make the treatment prices go down hopefully.
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Old 12-14-2004, 02:14 PM   #7
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It would be great, but it's hard to believe. We can't cure any virus as of now, can we? Yet we're gonna find a cure for a virus as complicated as HIV? And not only that, there's only one pill, and minimal side effects?

Sounds too good to be true. I'll believe it when it happens, and until then I think it's irresponsible for researchers to go around saying things like "This could be it."
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Old 12-14-2004, 03:06 PM   #8
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I'm no scientist, but here's hoping this can be at least a stepping stone for a cure. Right now they can't cure the common cold virus, let alone the AIDS virus, but there's always hope.
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Old 12-14-2004, 03:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Kitten


There may be a lot of treatments, but no cure. I hope this is a cure.

True. I just hope there wouldn't be a geographical prerequisite to recieve it is all I meant, love.
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Old 12-14-2004, 03:15 PM   #10
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strannix is right.

This would be great news if it is true, but the likelihood of it is slim.

First, HIV is one of the most complex viruses known to man and no one has yet found a "cure" for any virus. And the probability of it being in a "little" pill with "minimal side effects" does sound a bit far-fetched.

Second, while everyone in the AIDS community wants to see research continue on a vaccine, people are very much concerned that the limited money for Global AIDS is better spent right now in ARV medication for those infected and in preventative education.

Once those two areas are FULLY FUNDED and we have begun to decrease the infection rate(the rate at which HIV is spread) and have dramatically brought down the death rates from AIDs and its associated "diseases" (like TB, malaria, hunger, unclean water, etc), then is the proper time to devote more money to research a vaccine.

Right now, we are still losing far too many people to lessen up on these emergency responses to the scourge of the HIV virus.

But thank you very much for you interest in the subject, The_Sweetest_Thing. This is an issue that we should be as up to date on as possible.

WHERE YOU LIVE SHOULD NOT DECIDE WHETHER YOU LIVE OR WHETHER YOU DIE....
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Old 12-14-2004, 05:53 PM   #11
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You're right Jamila. Back in the '80's Jonas Salk did some research on the HIV virus and compared the search for a cure with inventing the polio vaccine, which, of course, he did. He said the HIV virus was much, much, more complex than the polio virus, and it took him 17 years of research to come up with his vaccine. We're a long way from a cure. Meanwhile too many people are dying in Africa because they can't get the retrovirals. We need to fix that while we fund researchers who are learning more about the HIV virus so that eventually a cure can be found.
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Old 12-14-2004, 05:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by starsgoblue



True. I just hope there wouldn't be a geographical prerequisite to recieve it is all I meant, love.
A relative of my husband's died on his couch in SF, California, because he could not afford drugs, and his company had eliminated his job to get rid of him because he was sick. So much for 'where you live....' There was also a story in a local paper a week ago about poor women and their kids dying for the same reason the Africans are- this just across the river from me.
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Old 12-14-2004, 06:00 PM   #13
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That's so sad U2Kitten. I know, it's going on all over. It sucks anywhere it happens.
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Old 12-14-2004, 08:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Kitten


A relative of my husband's died on his couch in SF, California, because he could not afford drugs, and his company had eliminated his job to get rid of him because he was sick. So much for 'where you live....' There was also a story in a local paper a week ago about poor women and their kids dying for the same reason the Africans are- this just across the river from me.

I am very sorry for your loss, U2Kitten. I had meant originally to put "geographical/financial" status....I waited for more than an hour after I posted before I realized I hadn't and by then it was too late to edit it. Yes, you are absolutley right....I wasn't trying to minimize anyone's lack of ability to get treatment whether it's geographical, financial or anything else. Everyone deserves the right to health.
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Old 12-14-2004, 08:51 PM   #15
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It's not like a cure for AIDS would be cost effective though .
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