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JEDIpartner
12-13-2004, 02:49 PM
Rutgers researchers may have stopped HIV

Piscataway, N.J. — 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, said. “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.

Dr. 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,” Dr. 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,” Dr. Arnold said.

Dr. 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 Dr. Arnold's research came in 1990 when Belgian scientist Paul Janssen was added to the collaboration. Dr. 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.

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

“We may eventually win the war against HIV/AIDS. That would be an extremely rewarding and satisfying outcome,” Dr. Arnold said.

JEDIpartner
12-13-2004, 02:53 PM
This is really encouraging news. Many lifes will be saved if this is true. Earlier this month, there was a report that a team of French scientists had been working on something similar. The unfortunate thing is that this drug probably won't reach people living with HIV in underdeveloped countries.

It could still be years before this is put out on the market.

It's always a matter of time before science starts catching up with our needs.

LusiferSam
12-13-2004, 11:27 PM
Very cool stuff. A class of new drugs like this could have implications well beyond HIV/AIDS. It could be years before we this drug in the US (FDA and all). If it does get approved hopefully the "silver bullet" mentally doesn't set in with this drug like it has with others.

Exhaust Port
12-13-2004, 11:43 PM
First TB now HIV? It's nice to see big steps being made against such killer viruses.

Slicker
12-13-2004, 11:51 PM
These scientists are real heroes. These people dedicate there life to saving others. They do it knowing that they'll get minimal recognition (do you know the name of the man that found the cure for polio?) and thanks. These are some of the smartest people in the world and in our own little way we all owe them.




BTW, Jonas Salk found the cure for polio.:D

InsaneJediGirl
12-14-2004, 08:10 AM
Awesome news.Glad to see we are actually getting somewhere in terms of fighting major illnesses and diseases.Hopefully the FDA here will be smart and say "oh look,this could save a few people,lets approve it"

Rocketboy
12-14-2004, 10:06 AM
This is great news, but I'm afraid it may be a bit premature.
I just wish they had some indisputible proof before they announce these kind of things instead of "coulds" and "possibles."

If it is true though...look out cancer - you're next!

JEDIpartner
12-14-2004, 03:10 PM
Early, but hopeful... that's the best that we can do at this point.

BTW, Slicker... I was gonna respond "Jonas Salk" until I scrolled down a little further. ;)

GreedosRevenge
12-30-2004, 10:00 AM
These scientists are real heroes. These people dedicate there life to saving others. They do it knowing that they'll get minimal recognition (do you know the name of the man that found the cure for polio?) and thanks. These are some of the smartest people in the world and in our own little way we all owe them.




BTW, Jonas Salk found the cure for polio.:D
There is no cure for polio, only vaccines.

Slicker
01-03-2005, 01:46 PM
Boy you wasted no time in getting banned.:D

sith_killer_99
01-03-2005, 06:00 PM
Yes, Polio has a vaccine.

There is also a vaccine for HIV, it has been shown to be effective in lab animals. And, it is in the 3rd stage of clinical development/FDA trials and will most likely be released before this cure.

The up side is that we will soon have the ability to prevent HIV transmission, the down side is that a lot of people who are currently infected may die well before the cure is finished, by then the vaccine will probably have been out and the cure will be much less news worthy. :(

BTW, does anyone know the name of the man who developed the Small Pox vaccine...















Edward Jenner, developed the small pox vaccine when he realized that inoculating people with cowpox would immunize them from small pox. Basically, he just built off the work done by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who developed the first vaccine using the original small pox, but it proved fatal in approx. 2% of the recipiants. Jenner realized that cowpox was much safer. The technique was originally developed in the Orient, Montagu was the first to bring it back to Europe.

Don't look so surprised...I googled it. ;)