A new drug candidate is so potent against all strains of HIV, researchers think it could work as a new kind of vaccine.
Developed by researchers from more than a dozen research institutions and led by a team at the Scripps Research Institute in the US, the drug is effective against doses of HIV-1, HIV-2 and SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus) that have been extracted from humans or rhesus macaques - including what researchers consider to be the ‘hardest-to-stop’ variants. It worked against doses of HIV that are way higher than what would be transmitted between humans, and works for at least eight months after injection.
"Our compound is the broadest and most potent entry inhibitor described so far,” lead researcher Michael Farzan from the Scripps Institute said in a press release. "Unlike antibodies, which fail to neutralise a large fraction of HIV-1 strains, our protein has been effective against all strains tested, raising the possibility it could offer an effective HIV vaccine alternative.”