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Rutgers laboratory helped to create new HIV drug
Date:6/23/2011

t to changes in HIV.

Clinical trials for Edurant, which included more than 1,300 adults with HIV, indicated that 83 percent of those who were given this anti-AIDS drug for a 48-week period had undetected levels of HIV in their blood at the conclusion of the clinical trial. The new drug can be prescribed as a once-a-day pill to HIV-positive adults who have not received any prior treatment or therapy. Besides being available in the United States, a generic form of the drug will be made available to millions of people in Saharan Africa, India and other developing nations.

"Development of this newest AIDS drug represents a wonderful example of the biomedical power that can be harnessed by scientific collaborations and partnerships between university, government, and private sector research enterprises," said Kenneth J. Breslauer, dean of Life and Health Sciences. "No more satisfying and important outcome can result from university research."

This scientific collaboration began in 1987 when the Rutgers team entered into a partnership with Stephen Hughes, an AIDS researcher at the National Cancer Institute. Both were interested in understanding the molecular structure and function of reverse transcriptase, an essential part of the AIDS virus, not only for its fundamental significance, but also because they believed it would provide guidance for the design of more effective drugs.

Three years later, Arnold reached out to Janssen at the J&J subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceutica, which had developed promising compounds to prevent reverse transcriptase from being able to create a genetic copy of the AIDS virus. The Rutgers team suggested that crystal structures of the compound created by Janssen, bound to the reverse transcriptase enzyme, could help the company understand and improve its chemical structures and be used to develop more effective AIDS drugs.

They worked together for the next 13 years, during which time Janssen provided $2 million to help fund
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Contact: Robin Lally
rlally@ur.rutgers.edu
732-932-7084 x652
Rutgers University
Source:Eurekalert

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