January 20th, 2011

A New Antiretroviral Drug Class, and a Movie

In my email in-box today was a very odd press release, referring to this paper, just published in PLoS ONE.  With the subject line, “Koronis – Clinical Trial Results Demonstrate Promise for First Non-suppressive HIV Drug,” it included the following information:

Recently published Phase 2a clinical trial results show that the frequency of specific, drug-induced mutations in the HIV genome can be significantly increased by administering KP-1461, a drug being developed by Koronis Pharmaceuticals based on its novel Viral Decay Acceleration (VDA) drug mechanism. Koronis is planning a follow-on Phase 2 trial to determine the treatment duration required to achieve a clinically meaningful decrease in a patient’s viral load.

First, you don’t want to be known as a “Non-suppressive HIV drug.”  And second, while I get the premise that giving a drug that leads to mutations probably indicates some sort of selection pressure, it’s a long way from this observation to an actual antiviral agent.

But who knows?  This may be the next great antiviral drug class, and the phrase “Viral Decay Acceleration” — with its faint echo of 1950s sci-fi movies — sounds incredibly cool.  According to the company’s web site, VDA “exploits the strength of a virus – its high mutation rate – to target its collapse.”

So dim the lights, grab some popcorn, and watch the movie here.

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HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

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