David Barry, Co-Developer of AZT, Dead at Age 58
Dr. David Barry, the lead researcher on the team that developed the first AIDS drug, AZT, died Monday of a heart attack at age 58, the AP/Washington Post reports. Barry, who worked for Burroughs Wellcome Corp. until 1995, also advocated the use of multiple drugs as a way to fight HIV. In 1995 Barry left Burroughs Wellcome and founded Triangle Pharmaceuticals, a Durham, N.C.-based firm that develops treatments for viruses including HIV. Barry is also credited with "pioneer[ing] the development" of acyclovir, a drug for herpes. Barry, who worked for the FDA for four years before going to Burroughs Wellcome, "was a true advocate for drug development for serious and life-threatening diseases," Debra Birnkrant, director of the FDA division of antiviral drugs, said. AZT is currently used worldwide in combination therapy regimens and to reduce mother-to-child HIV transmission (AP/Washington Post, 1/31).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.