Merck & Co., Inc. Cancer Drug Attacks Hidden HIV

Published: Mar 16, 2012

The 30-year quest for an AIDS cure advanced as scientists succeeded for the first time in attacking HIV in its hardest-to-reach hideouts with a cancer drug made by Merck & Co. (MRK) In a trial involving six men with HIV, researchers led by David Margolis at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill used a dose of Merck’s Zolinza to rouse the virus from inside certain immune-system cells, where it evades regular AIDS drugs. That’s a crucial step toward eliminating the virus from the body. The findings were presented at a conference in Seattle yesterday. While no patients were cured, the trial shows that Zolinza, or similar drugs, may have the potential to purge the virus, Margolis said. He said he expects to hear from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration within “a couple of weeks” on approval for an additional test using more doses of Zolinza.

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