Two Hebrew University scientists believe they have reached a breakthrough in destroying cells infected with HIV virus; clinical trials on human beings are set to begin within three months.
Will a new medication be found soon for HIV-positive individuals? Two Israeli scientists believe they have reached a breakthrough in destroying the virus and have announced their plan to start clinical trials on human beings within three months.
When a person is infected with HIV, the virus enters his blood cells and remains latent. Doctors don’t know when the virus\’ awakening process will begin or when it will duplicate itself to other cells.
In the past decades, HIV carriers have been handling the virus through a drug cocktail which delays virus\’ processes in a bid to prevent it from spreading. As a result, AIDS has transformed from a fatal epidemic into a chronic disease.
Prof. Abraham Loyter and Prof. Assaf Friedler of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem began studying the issue, and following some successful research the Zyon Pharmaceutical company signed an exclusive agreement with the university to develop the medication.
The two scientists believe that the cells infected with the virus can be killed without harming the entire body, thereby curing the HIV carrier. How does it work? Instead of one copy of the virus\’ DNA which enters the carrier\’s cell, many copies will be inserted, leading to an activation of the cell\’s self-destruction mechanisms. The researchers have developed peptides (short chains of amino acid monomers) which cause this process.