A New Drug in Early Development That May Be Active Against Virus Resistant to Current Drugs

Potent Agent Against Drug-Resistant HIV Under Development at Hughes Institute

PRNewswire - Thursday May 27, 1999


ST. PAUL, Minn., May 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Scientists at the Hughes Institute report the discovery of a new drug known as HI-236 which is highly effective against multi-drug resistant AIDS virus. This report will appear May 27 issue of Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters.

Despite development of a number of promising drugs and drug combinations, the success of AIDS therapy is significantly hampered by the development of drug resistance in viruses that escape the initial treatment. The three categories of agents currently in use which are effective against HIV are nucleoside analogs, protease inhibitors and the recently introduced non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. The high replication rate of the virus unfortunately leads to drug-resistant genetic variants.

Hughes Institute scientists recently reported the development of a novel computer model which allows scientists to design effective drugs against multi-drug resistant strains of HIV. Using this model, scientists were able to design effective compounds against clinically observed drug-resistant HIV. Mutations that make the AIDS virus resistant to available drugs do not protect it against HI-236. Compound HI-236 was more effective against resistant strains of HIV than the three categories of agents currently in use, namely nucleoside analogs, protease inhibitors, and non-nucleoside inhibitors. The Hughes Institute is a non-profit research organization dedicated to eradicating cancer, AIDS, and diseases of the immune system.