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Research Leads to First Treatment for Drug-Resistant HIV

med the crystallography that provided images of the molecules' structures.

"It is very important to have an image of the structure to see exactly how the inhibitors work," said Weber, Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar. "We can know a treatment is working without fully understanding its behavior. Visualizing the structure of the inhibitor as it interacts with the virus shows us how and why it works so well and greatly advances our ongoing fight against drug-resistant HIV."

Ghosh began his work at the University of Illinois and set out to design and synthesize a molecule that would interact with a part of the virus that did not change as the rest of it mutated - the backbone of protease.

"We designed this molecule top to bottom to interact with the protease backbone and deactivate the virus," he said. "This allows it to continue to be effective as the virus mutates, when other treatments would fail."

Mitsuya said he is pleased with the effectiveness of this new class of inhibitors and sees it as a possible turning point in HIV therapy.

"This will save many lives of patients suffering from drug-resistant HIV," he said. "This is encouraging."

Ghosh said he hopes this approach could be applied to other viruses, and he is currently involved in research into the SARS virus.

(Source: Newswise)
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