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New Drug Lowers HIV Levels in Drug-Resistent Patients
Gilead Sciences Inc. announced yesterday that its experimental drug tenofovir, to be marketed under the brand name Viread, when paired with other antiretroviral medications caused a "more significant reduction" in HIV viral levels than a placebo in patients who had become resistant to other drugs, Reuters reports. Tenofovir, the only antiretroviral currently under consideration by the FDA for marketing approval, works by blocking an enzyme needed in the HIV replication process. The drug was tested for six months in patients who had experienced treatment failure with other HIV drugs. "After an average of more than five years on multi-drug therapy, most of the patients in the study had developed resistance to available treatments, yet they achieved significant reductions in circulating virus when Viread was added to their regimens," Dr. Kathleen Squires of the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine said. Gilead applied for marketing approval in May and saw its shares close at $48.46 Monday on the Nasdaq (Reuters, 9/25).
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