Clinical Trials Begin on Potential Drug for HIV Prevention
The race to find a potential drug for HIV started decades ago. Today, however, it seems that the pace has increased. Ongoing research digs up more and more information on the mechanics of the virus, potential weaknesses and, of course, varying antibodies.
Antibody VRC01 as a Potential Drug for HIV
Sorting through the growing amounts of data that studies are yielding is an ongoing process. Scientists have been able to pick out some leads that seem to hold the most promise. One of those is the antibody VRC01. There has been a lot of buzz around this particular antibody as it has potential to block the most-common HIV strands.
Testing has proven this antibody to be effective in nearly 90% of the viral strains of HIV known around the world. Its large scope makes it ideal for testing as a potential drug for HIV. Current prevention plans require volunteer patients to take oral doses on a daily basis in order for them to be effective. The goal with the studies being conducted is to develop treatments that last longer. It is hoped that this approach would prompt more people to be proactive related to prevention than those who currently do so.
The trials underway are multinational. Participants will receive injections every couple of weeks and be tested for HIV every four weeks. The study will be ongoing for the next several years. Those volunteering will be divided into groups. One group will be given a placebo while the others will receive various doses of the VRC01 antibody, based on their group. However, all volunteers will continue to receive information on prevention, including daily preventative drug therapies. Because different countries are involved, each volunteer will be directed to facilities that will be able to dispense the proper medication.
For countries where HIV infections are on the rise, this study will be of great benefit as volunteers will be educated and instructed about where to receive important services. This information will hopefully spread and have a positive effect on the situations that persist. The outcome of the trial is still several years off, but it holds promise of a potential drug for HIV, and more effective way to ward off infection.