Pharma cos. testing 98 AIDS drugs

February 1, 2002

Pharmaceutical Representative

Pharmaceutical companies are testing 98 new drugs and drug compounds to use against the AIDS virus, according to PhRMA.

Pharmaceutical companies are testing 98 new drugs and drug compounds to use against the AIDS virus, according to the Washington-based Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

The potential treatments include 38 that attack the AIDS virus, 15 for AIDS-related cancers, six for fungal infections that frequently attack the weakened immune systems of AIDS patients, seven that target opportunistic infections, eight designed to strengthen the immune system and 14 vaccines.

"These medicines will add to the arsenal of 68 medicines already approved for the treatment of AIDS and AIDS-related conditions," said PhRMA President Alan F. Holmer. "Pharmaceutical companies are keeping up the research momentum that has provided effective - and cost-effective - treatment to AIDS patients."

New approvals

Four new AIDS treatments were approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the past year, including: the first in a new class of medicines called nucleotides, which proved effective in clinical trials in patients who had developed resistance to other drugs; a medicine for an AIDS-related fungal infection; a medicine for AIDS-related CMV retinitis, which can lead to blindness; and a medicine that combines three antiretroviral drugs in one tablet.

"Just four years after the virus that causes AIDS was identified, a pharmaceutical company introduced the first medicine for the disease," said Holmer. "In the years that followed, companies invented dozens more medicines. These medicines are saving the lives of AIDS patients and improving the quality of their lives." PR

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