Drugs in development: new promise [ACRIA Update, vol 12]

Drugs in development: new promise [ACRIA Update, vol 12]

HIV/AIDS drugs currently under development

This issue of ACRIA Update focuses on antiretrovirals that are being developed to deal with problems of new formulations of old drugs, second generation drugs in existing classes, drugs like entry inhibitors that target HIV at different points in its life cycle, and drugs that are in very early stages of development.

The paper demonstrates that we may never hear of some of these drugs again; the promise that some have shown in test tube and animal studies won’t achieve similar results in people. Others may be discontinued as pharmaceutical companies merge and corporate priorities change. Knowing about drugs in the pipeline can spur us to take action when development stalls. It’s equally important to understand that new drug development is ongoing and that the pipeline is filled with candidates that offer promise.

The paper concludes that new classes of anti-HIV drugs, and new drugs in existing classes, represent the best hope for people with HIV, especially those who have exhausted current therapies. Even people whose HIV is resistant to drugs in all three existing classes stand to benefit from new agents now in the pipeline. And drugs that work by different mechanisms may produce fewer side effects. But even with the best new agents, resistance remains a major concern. It will likely remain the case that the best treatment strategy involves use of multiple drugs that attack HIV from different angles.

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