RICHMOND, England and BANGKOK, Thailand, July 12 /PRNewswire/ -- On the occasion of the 15th International AIDS Conference, now underway in Bangkok, Thailand, Pharmaprojects, the world's leading database tracking R&D pipelines worldwide, reports a rise in the number of anti-HIV drug development strategies being adopted by pharmaceutical companies.
There are currently 186 antiretroviral compounds under active development, which between them employ a total of 48 pharmacological strategies. This marks a considerable recovery from the low point of 38 strategies in 2001, but is still well down on the 1997 peak of 69. This trend largely mirrors that of the overall numbers of antiretroviral drugs in development, indicating that the rate of diversity of the candidate population has remained fairly constant. Indeed, Pharmaprojects' data shows that in 1997, there were 4.03 drugs in development for every strategy, whereas now there are 3.87.
The most popular antiretroviral drug development strategies remain those which have already proved successful, namely reverse transcriptase inhibition (39 drugs) and HIV protease inhibition (15). However, several newer mechanisms of action are now attracting serious attention from the industry, including CC chemokine receptor 5 antagonism, gp120 inhibition and HIV integrase inhibition, with 11, 11 and 7 candidates, respectively.
"Although the rise in the number of ways to attack HIV infection is to be welcomed, the lack of significant increase in the diversity of the anti-HIV pipeline should still be a cause for concern", commented Ian Lloyd, Managing Editor of Pharmaprojects. Recent reports have suggested that in those patients with access to HAART who achieve good viral suppression on their initial combination and are able to maintain good compliance, the half-life for treatment failure due to viral rebound could be as much as 20 years.
However, at this stage, nobody actually knows whether or not existing drug combinations could work for so long, and it seems likely that the toxicity of drugs or drug resistance may yet limit their use to a much shorter period. In such case, the only defence against the virus must be more therapeutic options, preferably employing differing therapeutic strategies. Only then can HIV disease truly become a chronic manageable condition rather than a curtailer of life.
Pharmaprojects' Managing Editor Ian Lloyd is attending the 15th International AIDS Conference in Bangkok in order to research the latest information on antiretroviral and AIDS vaccine R&D for the Pharmaprojects database.
Pharmaprojects, the leading database tracking global pharmaceutical development from early preclinical study through to launch or discontinuation, has 24 years' experience as an information provider to the industry. Pharmaprojects uses a fully-searchable application that allows you to pinpoint the specific information you are looking for, whether it be comprehensive drug profiles, a competitor's pipeline or licensing opportunities.
Pharmaprojects is available weekly on the Web and monthly via CD-ROM format; the data is also accessible weekly via online hosts PJB Publications, Dialog and Datastar, Ovid Technologies and STN International.
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PJB Publications, established in 1976, is a publishing company of business-to-business information. Specialist areas include pharmaceuticals on which it publishes the twice-weekly newsletter Scrip, medical devices and diagnostics, biotechnology, veterinary products, crop protection, agribusiness, clinical research and regulatory affairs. PJB Publications is a trading division of T&F Informa plc.