New drugs help battle HIV. (Treatment).Three potential drugs in development rely on novel tactics for attacking HIV HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), either of two closely related retroviruses that invade T-helper lymphocytes and are responsible for AIDS. There are two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is responsible for the vast majority of AIDS in the United States. , the virus that causes AIDS.
A compound dubbed BMS-806 blocks the entry of HIV into cells, reports Richard J. Colonno of Bristol-Myers Squibb Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY), colloquially referred to as BMS, is a pharmaceutical corporation, formed by a 1989 merger between pharmaceutical companies Bristol-Myers Company, founded in 1887 by William McLaren Bristol and John Ripley Myers in Clinton, NY (both were in Wallingford, Conn. In test tubes, the compound inhibits the replication of HIV, including strains already resistant to other drugs.
BMS-806 binds to an HIV protein that's part of the virus' envelope and is responsible for recognizing a molecular marker Molecular marker is a term with a number of uses. It is any kind of molecule indicating the existence of a chemical or physical process. In particular, in the fields of geology and astrobiology, biomarkers (also known as biosignatures) are sometimes understood as molecules on many immune cells. Once HIV latches on, the virus then binds to a second set of molecules before gaining entry to the cell.
At the meeting, another team reported that a compound called SCH SCH School
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Before HIV can turn a cell into a factory for new viruses, it must insert its genetic material into the cell's DNA DNA: see nucleic acid.
or deoxyribonucleic acid
One of two types of nucleic acid (the other is RNA); a complex organic compound found in all living cells and many viruses. It is the chemical substance of genes. . That's why researchers have been struggling to find compounds to block integrase, the enzyme that inserts HIV genes, says Tamio Fujiwara of Shionogi USA, a drug company based in Florham Park, N.J.
Fujiwara and his colleagues report they've found an integrase inhibitor Integrase inhibitors are a class of antiretroviral drug developed for the treatment of HIV infection, although they are not necessarily limited to HIV treatment. They block the action of integrase, an enzyme that integrates genetic material from the virus into its target cell. , called S-1360. In mice, the drug was as effective at blocking the replication of HIV as other drugs now on the market are, says Fujiwara. The company has already begun a small trial with 36 people to test the safety of S-1360.
"Finding new drugs is a lot like fishing," says Carl W. Dieffenbach of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Md., "and we're finally getting some hits." Even if the drugs themselves prove ineffective in clinical studies, he says, they pave the way for future advances against HIV using these novel approaches. --D.C.