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New HIV treatment found

The Local · 23 Dec 2010, 16:26

Published: 23 Dec 2010 16:26 GMT+01:00

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Researchers at Hannover Medical School and Ulm University have demonstrated that a peptide – similar to a protein but shorter – called VIR-576 stops the human immunodeficiency virus “docking” with a human cell.

“It is a completely new, effective therapy approach, from which we expect fewer side-effects,” said Professor Reinhold Schmidt from the Hannover Medical School.

Schmidt and his colleagues tested VIR-576 on 18 HIV-infected patients, in the first clinical study of the peptide. Their results were published the latest issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine.

The principle they have discovers also offers hope in the battles against viruses such as measles, hepatitis and Ebola.

A virus works by docking with a cell, hijacking its internal machinery and using it to make copies of itself. Usually, though not always, this makes the host sick, as is the case with HIV, which causes AIDS.

Medications already exist that block the attachment of HIV to human cells but these work either on or inside the cell.

“Because our peptide works directly on the virus rather than on the cell, certain side effects do not occur,” Schmidt said.

Furthermore, the emergence of viral resistance was less likely than with existing medications because the peptide binds to a part of the virus that never changes.

Highly effective drugs have existed since the mid-1990s that prevent the HIV virus from multiplying. As a result, people infected with HIV in wealthy countries such as Germany have an almost normal life-expectancy, although serious complications can arise, such as strokes and liver damage.

Story continues below…

At present the new therapy must be given by transfusion, making it impractical as a treatment for wide use.

“Our goal is to develop a molecule that can be given as a tablet,” Schmidt said.

DPA/The Local/dw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:09 December 23, 2010 by tallady
Hopefully this works out .
17:44 December 23, 2010 by yhsanjay
Thats fine. Again a first from Germany.Only hope the affected masses get it within their reach.
02:24 December 24, 2010 by herpesfinder
More and more people are living with H...Meet others positive at positiveloves,,,com .19 million new people are infected with STD each year. Are you one of them?
22:26 December 25, 2010 by spiegelsteven
I think there has been a cure for years but the world leaders are not ready to let it be known because the Virus hasn't finished its job. and that is to thin the heard.They are getting close though so they must have developed something else that we will have no Known cure for in the next 30 years. In this day and age it is hard to believe that there is no cure for any disease. If you look at it mostly drug addicts / Homosexuals/promiscuity is the man cause of getting infected with the virus. And i believe that most of the political and religious leaders of this new age society figure that we can do with out those types of people, for there is no room in this great big wide World for those types and there ludicrous behavior.
16:46 December 26, 2010 by floridaboy
'...by stopping the virus attaching itself to a human cell, which reduces...' - shouldn't it be 'from attaching itself' ?
00:48 February 12, 2011 by danamcmahon
Attach a stick of dynamite with a long fuse

lit it and run like hell.
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