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December 13, 2004

Rutgers Researchers... Cure AIDS?

For some reason I think this one's real:

Researchers at Rutgers University have developed a trio of drugs they believe can destroy HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, according to a published report.

The drugs, called DAPYs, mimic the virus by changing shape, which enables them to interfere with the way HIV attacks the immune system.

Tests conducted in conjunction with Johnson and Johnson have shown the drug to be easily absorbed with minimal side effects. It also can be taken in one pill, in contrast to the drug cocktails currently taken by many AIDS patients.

“This could be it,” Stephen Smith, the head of the department of infectious diseases at Saint Michael's Medical Center in Newark, said. “We're all looking for the next class of drugs.”

...

The research has targeted reverse transcriptase, a submiscroscopic protein composed of two coiled chains of amino acids. It is considered HIV's key protein.

“Reverse transcriptase is very important in the biology of AIDS,” Dr. Smith said. “If you can really inhibit reverse transcriptase, you can stop AIDS.”

The optimism about R278474 stems from its potential to interfere with an enzyme that the virus needs to copy and insert itself into a human cell.

“We're onto something very, very special,” Dr. Arnold said.



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posted by Ace at 11:27 PM

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