Saturday, July 7, 2007

New combo drug therapy for HIV patients

An international team of researchers reported on Thursday that a combination of two experimental AIDS drugs can help control the deadly virus in people who are infected with highly resistant forms,

The two drugs — called etravirine, or TMC125, and darunavir, or TMC114 — are both made by Tibotec Pharmaceuticals, Ltd, a division of Johnson & Johnson.

The trial of patients in 18 countries offers another weapon for people infected with drug-resistant forms of the AIDS virus — about 10% of those not yet treated, the researchers report. "This study is one of the most significant worldwide HIV/AIDS clinical trials in recent years," said Dr William Towner, of Kaiser Permanente Southern California, who worked on the study. "It showed that when the two drugs are used in combination, there is a good chance HIV can be very effectively controlled in patients who have advanced, multi-drug resistant HIV."

The drugs do not cure the infection but can control what is known as viral load — how much virus is circulating in the body.

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