New long-acting, less-toxic HIV drug suppresses virus in humanized mice

January 8, 2018, Yale University
HIV-1 Virus. Credit: J Roberto Trujillo/Wikipedia

A team of Yale researchers tested a new chemical compound that suppresses HIV, protects immune cells, and remains effective for weeks with a single dose. In animal experiments, the compound proved to be a promising new candidate to enhance current HIV treatment regimens—without increasing toxic side effects, the researchers said.

The finding builds on the work of senior co-authors Karen S. Anderson and William L. Jorgensen, who used computational and structure-based design methods to develop a class of compounds that target a viral protein essential for HIV to replicate. The researchers refined this class of to boost potency, lower toxicity, and improve -like properties in order to identify a promising preclinical . In collaboration with Priti Kumar's lab at Yale, the drug candidate was tested in mice with transplanted human blood cells and infected with HIV.

In the humanized mice, the compound achieved key goals of HIV treatment: It suppressed the virus to undetectable levels in the blood; it protected the that the virus infects; and it worked synergistically with approved HIV medications, the researchers said.

Additionally, working with Yale drug delivery expert Mark Saltzman and his laboratory, the researchers found that the effects of a single dose of the compound—delivered in a long-acting nanoparticle form—lasted for nearly a month.

While further testing is needed, the compound has potential for improving treatment for HIV, which affects 37 million people worldwide, said Anderson. "Our drug candidate works synergistically with all current classes of HIV drugs, as well as some that are also being tested in clinical trials. It enhances their potency and could be a better combination medication."

The study is published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)

Explore further: A new method for removing cells infected with the AIDS virus

More information: Shalley N. Kudalkar et al. From in silico hit to long-acting late-stage preclinical candidate to combat HIV-1 infection, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2017). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1717932115

Related Stories

A new method for removing cells infected with the AIDS virus

October 2, 2017
With the successful suppression of the AIDS virus (HIV) through medication, the focus turns toward its eradication. Researchers from Kumamoto University in Japan have developed a new compound that is key to the destruction ...

New drug shows potential as a different kind of antidepressant in mouse trials

November 6, 2017
A potential new antidepressant and antianxiety treatment with a unique mechanism of action has been developed by scientists at the University of Bath.

Breast cancer drug discovery offers hope of new treatments

May 23, 2016
A drug for breast cancer that is more effective than existing medicines may be a step closer thanks to new research.

Recommended for you

Study shows how HIV is shielded from immune attack

July 10, 2018
Scientists from UNSW Sydney and the UK have discovered that the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) hijacks a small molecule from the host cell to protect itself from being destroyed by the host's immune system.

Out-of-pocket costs put HIV prevention drug out of reach for many at risk

July 4, 2018
Public health officials are expanding efforts to get the HIV prevention pill into the hands of those at risk, in a nationwide effort to curb infections. But the officials are hitting roadblocks—the drug's price tag, which ...

New simulation tool predicts how well HIV-prophylaxis will work

June 14, 2018
A new mathematical simulation approach predicts the efficacy of pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medications, which help prevent HIV infection. The framework, presented in PLOS Computational Biology by Sulav Duwal ...

Many at risk for HIV despite lifesaving pill

June 11, 2018
Multiple barriers may stop high-risk individuals from accessing an HIV drug that can reduce the subsequent risk of infection, according to a new University of Michigan study.

Active HIV in large white blood cells may drive cognitive impairment in infected mice

June 7, 2018
Macrophages, large white blood cells that engulf and destroy potential pathogens, harbor active viral reserves that appear to play a key role in impaired learning and memory in mice infected with a rodent version of HIV. ...

HIV vaccine elicits antibodies in animals that neutralize dozens of HIV strains

June 4, 2018
An experimental vaccine regimen based on the structure of a vulnerable site on HIV elicited antibodies in mice, guinea pigs and monkeys that neutralize dozens of HIV strains from around the world. The findings were reported ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.