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Research Using Thermo Fisher Scientific RNA-Interference Technology Unveils Potential New Targets for HIV Drugs
Date:1/31/2008

Harvard Medical School Researchers Used Thermo Scientific Dharmacon siRNA to Identify 273 Human Proteins Needed for Reproduction of the Virus that

Causes AIDS

WALTHAM, Mass., Jan. 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, announced today that its RNA-interference (RNAi) technology has enabled a groundbreaking study at Harvard Medical School in Boston, which identified human proteins required for growth of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This research points to potential new targets for treating HIV infection, which causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

In the study, Harvard Medical School researchers used the Thermo Scientific Dharmacon(R) siGENOME(R) siRNA Library to "silence" more than 21,000 human genes, blocking the proteins they produce. With the help of Harvard's ICCB-Longwood High Throughput Screening Facility, the researchers identified 273 proteins required for HIV reproduction. Only 36 were previously known to be important to HIV.

"This study clearly demonstrates the power of genome-wide RNAi screening in identifying novel drug targets," said Ian Jardine, vice president of global research and development for Thermo Fisher Scientific. "The Harvard Medical School findings dramatically expand the number of potential targets for fighting HIV. It is an exciting discovery that holds promise for new treatments, and we are thrilled that our genome-wide siRNA library enabled this work."

Current HIV therapies target the virus itself, but HIV often mutates to build resistance against those drugs. Drugs targeting host proteins may be significantly less vulnerable to resistance caused by the virus' ability to mutate.

The research team was led by Harvard Medical School (HMS) professor Dr. Stephen J. Elledge and Dr. Judy Lieberman, HMS professor of pediatrics as well as an investigator at the Immune Disease Institute and d
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SOURCE Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
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