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HIV Experts Propose New Approach to Eradicate HIV in Latest Issue of Science
Date:3/5/2009

more than a decade ago, people diagnosed with HIV have gained a lengthened life expectancy and improved quality of life. Today, patients newly infected with HIV can expect to live 40-50 years as a result of HAART. However, HAART is not the optimal solution for HIV - it requires lifelong therapy, the medication can cause various side effects and the effects of long-term HAART are not yet known. And, if HAART is interrupted, the virus rapidly replicates and the patient's immune system is attacked once more. HAART suppresses the virus, but it is unable to eradicate it completely. As a result, the virus persists in latently infected cells (HIV latency) and other reservoirs. The authors conclude that eradicating the virus from these cells and reservoirs is a crucial approach in the pursuit for therapies that could provide drug free remission, and potentially a cure.

The three academics and two industry scientists who authored the Science article have individually been involved in independent studies of HIV latency and reservoirs, and there has been significant progress in understanding these conditions. However, the authors point out, such discrete studies may be duplicative and slow to build up a complete picture.

"A flexible, collaborative private-public joint venture has the possibility to catalyze progress in the search for therapeutic interventions that can eradicate HIV and result in drug-free remission for HIV patients," said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Company Group Chairman, Johnson & Johnson. "This new approach of 'open innovation' is critical if we are to meet the really big challenges that remain today in the HIV field, such as eradication."

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Tibotec, Inc., based in Yardley PA, is a pharmaceutical research and development company. The Company's main research and development facilities are in Mechelen, Belgium with head office in Cork, Ireland. Tibotec is dedic
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