There's news on the HIV treatment front. From Science Daily:
Researchers at the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center have identified two drugs, that, when combined, may serve as an effective treatment for HIV. The two drugs, decitabine and gemcitabine -- both FDA approved and currently used in pre-cancer and cancer therapy -- were found to eliminate HIV infection in the mouse model by causing the virus to mutate itself to death -- an outcome researchers dubbed "lethal mutagenesis."
"So?" you say. "What's the big deal?"
Well, grab your wigs and keys and let me tell you.
HIV is a devastating disease. It's notoriously sly, mutating quickly, frustrating researchers, physicians, patients, families and governments.
It's also big business.
It costs money to research new medications, treatments, vaccines and prevention strategies. It costs money to provide medications through ADAP. It costs money to treat the side-effects from treatment- you get the picture.
This is a landmark finding in HIV research because it is the first time this novel approach has been used to attack the deadly virus without causing toxic side effects. Because decitabine and gemcitabine are already FDA approved, researchers believe that if their research is effective in large animal models, it will be much easier to expedite the development of the drugs for human use.
This is significant because taking on the treatment (and possible cure) of HIV with an existing drug that companies are (probably) already making money on after already spending money on research is a no-brainer. Researching new HIV meds is prohibitively expensive.
You can bet your ass if this is a significant treatment for HIV, they're going to make money. And money is what drives this thing.
Read the full story here.