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新药物一针或可预防3个月不染艾滋病

2014-03-06    来源:新华网    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Scientists develop long-acting drug to protect against AIDS

A single injection of an experimental drug may someday protect people from infection with the AIDS virus for up to three months, a U.S. study said Tuesday.

The study, published in the U.S. journal Science, showed that the drug called GSK 744LA can protect macaque monkeys from repeated intrarectal infections with the deadly SHIV, a hybrid between the human and monkey AIDS virus.

The efficacy and safety of the drug have not been tested in humans, but David Ho, whose team at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center in New York led the study, told Xinhua the drug may be maintained at adequate level for about three of four months in humans.

"Therefore, we believe the drug should be given once every quarter," said Ho, noting that their results "give a big momentum boost to this HIV prevention effort."

In the new study, the researchers gave two injections of the drug to eight macaques and then "challenged" the animals by putting SHIV into their rectums once a week. They found none of the animals became infected after eight challenges.

In a second experiment, SHIV readily infected eight untreated control monkeys.

This novel approach was based on the proven strategy of protecting people who do not have HIV but are at high risk for infection with antiretroviral pills known as oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

"It has been shown already that taking anti-HIV medications once a day ... could protect high-risk individuals from catching HIV. However, in such an approach, most persons cannot follow the prescribed regimen with good compliance/adherence," said Ho.

"With long-acting drug like 744LA, we take away this adherence problem, with the expectation that protection results would be better," he said.

Robert Grant, a virologist at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), who was not involved in the study, believed that the new study "would be a game changer."

"This is the most exciting thing happening that I know of in HIV prevention studies today," Grant, a pioneer of oral PrEP studies in humans, told the Science journal.

Philip Johnson of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, however, questioned the compliance. "This is going to require multiple injections over the lifetime of an individual, " Johnson told Science. "How feasible is it truly in the long term? "

Ho said while HIV vaccines that protect are "still far far away, " their approach could be used in the interim period before a protective vaccine is developed.

He said their next step is to proceed, together with drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, to conduct human trials.

"We will soon begin a phase-2 human trial of 744LA in the U.S.. It is anticipated that we will obtain more data, including more safety information, on this long-acting drug within the next year, " he said.

"We are now in discussion with the company on how to ultimately proceed with clinical trials to test the protective efficacy of 744LA in high risk populations throughout the world, including in gay men in China where HIV infection rates are very high."

相关新闻:著名美国华裔科学家何大一的研究团队4日报告说,他们开发出一种新型药物,将来人们只要打上一针,就有可能3个月不被艾滋病病毒感染。研究人员认为,使用这种药物可成为开发出艾滋病疫苗前的过渡方案。

这项研究当天在波士顿举行的一个艾滋病会议上公布,并已在美国《科学》杂志网站上在线发表。因发明艾滋病鸡尾酒疗法而闻名的何大一在接受新华社记者采访时说:“这项成果将会对艾滋病预防努力给予巨大推动。”

何大一说,这种叫做GSK744LA的药物还没有进行人体测试,但利用猕猴进行的实验表明,“该药的效果足以在人体内维持3到4个月,因此我们认为这种药物应该每个季度注射一次”。

在为期8周的实验中,研究人员分别在实验开始阶段和第四周给8只猕猴各注射一次这种药物,然后用与人类艾滋病病毒相似的人猴嵌合免疫缺陷病毒(SHIV)攻击猕猴,每周攻击一次,实验结束时发现8只猕猴都健康无恙。在对比实验中,没有注射药物的猕猴则全部感染。

何大一说,这是一种叫做预防性投药的治疗方案,不同于疫苗,这种方案能有效帮助高风险人群降低感染艾滋病几率,又能解决以往治疗方法难以长期坚持的问题。

对这一新发现,艾滋病治疗专家、美国加州大学旧金山分校的罗伯特·格兰特对《科学》杂志表示,它将会成为艾滋病预防的“游戏规则改变者”,“在我所知道的艾滋病预防研究中,这是最令人兴奋的消息”。不过,美国费城儿童医院的菲利普·约翰逊认为,即便3个月打一针,要想坚持也有困难,“长期来看仍不可行”。

何大一则告诉记者,艾滋病疫苗“依然非常、非常遥远”,因此在疫苗成功开发前,他们的方案可用于“中间的过渡期”。接下来,他们将与葛兰素史克公司一道在美国开展临床试验,预计明年可获得这种长效药物的更多安全性数据。此外,他们也计划在其他国家的高风险人群中开展类似临床研究。(新华网)



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