News and Comments

Sangamo: Aiming High

  Tuesday, July 26, 2011

In early March 2011, we gave a brief history of HIV treatments. The article has also referred to recent studies demonstrating that early treatment with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) further improves survival of asymptomatic patients with higher CD4+ T cell counts. Instead of fading away as many studies do, these studies were accompanied with parallel studies demonstrating that the prophylactic use of HAART succeeded in shielding exposed individuals from contracting HIV. These studies, no doubt, were favorable to Gilead Sciences (GILD), as demonstrated in the stock’s recent performance. What makes this news important is the fact that sustained treatment with these drugs for to avert the reactivation of the virus and the progression of AIDS subjects the patients to dangerous adverse effects and the drugs to the risk of viral resistance. More...


  Monday, March 07, 2011

When the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was identified as the cause of the mysterious immune system depletion characterized by horrific vulnerability to infection, multiple dreadful symptoms and ultimately death, the world panicked. The medical and research communities were taken by surprise. Nothing could be said or done to help the agonizing victims or prevent their imminent death. It took a few years to introduce the first HIV drug, a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI). This milestone was followed by the development and marketing of non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI), then a third class antiretroviral protease inhibitors (PIs). As HIV continued to reproduce and resistant variants of the virus emerge, It became necessary to combine the antiretroviral drugs in what has become known as highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Indeed, the HAART combination resulted in profound reductions in AIDS morbidity and mortality.  More...

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