Agence France Presse (04.23.12) - Tuesday, April 24, 2012
A Chinese team said Monday that test results assessing the
potency of a molecule to block HIV from entering human cells
are "encouraging." University of Hong Kong (UKH), Nanjing
University, and City University of Hong Kong researchers,
working with Shanghai Targetdrug Co., said the TD-0680
molecule could be developed for a microbicide to "prevent HIV
sexual transmission" - the cause of more than 90 percent of
HIV infections in China.
Such a gel would give people, particularly women, an
"alternative method to protect themselves from the virus, in
addition to condoms," said Zhiwei Chen, director of the AIDS
Institute of UKH's Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine. "The ideal
solution is to develop an effective vaccine. Since such a
vaccine remains elusive, we must explore other strategies such
as topical microbicide," he said.
According to the team, TD-0680 is several times more potent
than maraviroc, an antiviral developed by Pfizer and approved
by the US Food and Drug Administration for clinical treatment.
The study, "CCR5 Antagonist TD-0680 Uses a Novel Mechanism for
Enhanced Potency Against HIV-1 Entry, Cell-Mediated Infection
and a Resistant Variant," was published online in the Journal
of Biological Chemistry (2012;doi:10.1074/jbc.M112.354084).