New anti-HIV infection compound created

Jan. 27, 2010 at 11:57 AM

COLUMBIA, Mo., Jan. 27 (UPI) -- U.S. medical researchers say they are developing an anti-HIV compound that is substantially more potent and longer-lasting than existing therapies.

University of Missouri Assistant Professor Stefan Sarafianos said current therapies targeting the human immunodeficiency virus have helped patients live longer and healthier lives. Sarafianos says he wants to improve those drug therapies by creating alternative preventative strategies, such as vaginal gels and creams.

The professor of microbiology and immunology said the compound he is developing, EFdA, is 60,000 times more potent than any other drug that is currently being used to treat HIV.

Sarafianos hopes EFdA also can double as a preventative agent in the form of a vaginal gel or cream. That, he said, would provide additional protection to women whose partners refuse to use condoms.

The research that included Professor Michael Parniak at the University of Pittsburgh and Dr. Hiroaki Mitsuya of the National Institutes of Health appears in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

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