Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Researchers’ Efforts To Develop HIV Treatment Examined
Forbes recently examined the challenges Merck researcher Daria Hazuda encountered while developing the HIV treatment Isentress, which "was Merck's fastest growing medicine last quarter." Most of Hazuda's work has involved the enzyme integrase. "HIV copies itself by splicing into the DNA of the people it infects and being copied when their cells replicate. Integrase is the enzyme that makes the cut. Block integrase, the logic went, and the virus could not spread from cell to cell," the article states. Among the challenges Hazuda faced "was figuring out how to measure whether or not chemicals were blocking the integrase enzyme so that hundreds of different potential medicines could be tried out" and getting her team's findings published in medical journals, according to Forbes. The article adds, "Recently Merck researchers found potential HIV drug targets by scanning the human genome. And Hazuda thinks there may be other ways to attack the virus too" (Herper, 8/7).
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