New HIV drug in international markets
HIV-AIDS has been sweeping the world at a frightening pace. Research has also been trying to keep pace with this killer disease and newer drugs are entering the markets. The first new class of drug in more than 10 years has hit the markets in the US and UK.
Pfizer recently launched Celsentri (Maraviroc) in the UK markets. In August this year the same drug was launched under the name Selzentry in the US. The drug is novel in that it works by inhibiting the entry of the HIV virus into the CD4 cells. It blocks the entry of the virus by competing with it for the CCR5 receptor on the CD4 lymphocytes. Between 50-78% of the people with HIV have the subtype of virus that utilizes the CCR5 receptor to gain entry into the CD4 cells. The drug has to be used as part of the HAART regime (Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy) and not ALONE.
Considering that the HIV virus undergoes mutations at frightening speeds newer drugs are more than welcome to offer hope to people with mutant strains. The first drug to be launched against HIV was Zidovudine and since then there have been innumerable additions. A vaccine is yet the hottest topic of research but hopes seem far away.