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U of Nebraska Medical Center researchers are working on a potential cure for HIV

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: February 14th, 2018

Researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) have altered an existing HIV drug to help it reach more cells and tissues where the virus can be found.

While the antiviral drug known as dolutegravir has proven successful at keeping HIV in check, the UNMC researchers say their recent work on could lead to a potential cure for the virus. They have modified the drug and placed it into nanocrystals that can be easily distributed throughout the body to target hard-to-reach tissue reservoirs of HIV such as lymph nodes and bone marrow.

The researchers tested their delivery system in mice and found it extended the life of the drug itself and facilitated the drug’s entry into hidden body compartments while increasing its effect on the reduction of viral growth.

“The strength of this system is that it not only can be effective in improving HIV care and prevention, but it can be applied to many classes of drugs beyond HIV, such as drugs used to treat cancer, other infectious diseases and degenerative diseases that affect the brain,” says Benson Edagwa, who is heading up the research alongside Howard Gendelman.

UNMC is working to complete a nanomedicine production plant by fall that would help produce the new HIV drug and others like it. UNeMed, the university’s tech transfer arm, and ViiV Healthcare, a subsidiary of GlaxoSmithKline, have supported patent filing for the research, which received funding from ViiV Healthcare and the National Institutes of Health.

Source: Live Well Nebraska

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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