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Pathway Diagnostics' technology detects the CXCR4 HIV co-receptor in patient samples that have as little as one percent CXCR4-tropic virus, enabling physicians to identify with a high degree of accuracy those patients with X4-tropic virus who are unlikely to benefit from, and should not receive, treatment with entry inhibitor therapies.
With several major phase II studies in progress or set to launch, hope for oral entry inhibitors is at an all-time high.
In this article, I will highlight the developments from the conference, in particular some very exciting information about a new class of entry inhibitors coming down the pike called CCR5 antagonists, and a few intriguing studies in other areas.
HIV entry inhibitors in early development DRUG NAME CURRENTLY GIVEN COMPANY AMD-070 By mouth Anormed AMD-887 By mouth Anormed PRO-140 By injection or infusion * Progenics BMS-488043 By mouth Bristol-Myers Squibb UK 427,857 By mouth Pfizer SP-01A By mouth Samaritan Pharmaceuticals SCH-D By mouth Schering Plough TNX-355 By infusion Tanox GSK(GW)-873140 By mouth GlaxoSmithKline PRO-542 By injection or infusion * Progenics * infusion is when medication is given directly into a vein over a period of time.
Overall there were more than a dozen new agents, including integrase inhibitors and entry inhibitors, discussed in various stages of research presented at this meeting.
Currently, there are 4 groups of antiretroviral medications used to treat HIV/AIDS: 1) nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors or "nukes," 2) non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors or "non-nukes," 3) protease inhibitors, and 4) entry inhibitors (see table below).
Other investigators working on entry inhibitors have made new and exciting observations that may provide a glimpse into the future of entry inhibitors.
PRO 140 is a humanized monoclonal antibody directed against CCR5, a molecular portal that HIV uses to enter cells, and belongs to a class of HIV therapies known as entry inhibitors that block HIV from entering into and infecting certain cells.