Liu Shi, a China native, is eager to find a better treatment for his HIV. The medication currently available to him has to be taken every day and can cause serious side effects, such as drowsiness and kidney and liver failure. He hopes that the newly approved, Albuvirtide will change that.
Albuvirtide, developed by Frontier Biotechnologies in China, is the world’s first long-acting fusion inhibitor for HIV. It works by blocking the fusion between the virus and the host cell membranes, interrupting the virus’s life cycle before it’s truly began. Additionally, and what makes this treatment even more attractive to patients like Liu Shi, is that unlike many other drugs on the market, Albuvirtide is injected only once a week.
According to Xinhua news agency, Albuvirtide has shown to have fewer side effects than the current treatment in China, particularly on the liver.
Referring to the fact that current HIV treatments in China are all imported or generic, and that patients typically take a daily dose of a handful of pills, Xie Dong, chief scientist and former head of Frontier Biotechnologies comments, “China’s first domestically developed drug offers new HIV patients a new treatment option. We hope to dispel the fact that China has not developed good anti-AIDS medicine.”
While the new drug is expected to improve patient compliance, reduce costs, and improve patient quality of life, Pend Xiaohui, a sexologist at Central China Normal University, told Global Times that patients will have to overcome the psychological obstacle of injecting the medicine on their own, or have a doctor do it for them.
If Albuvirtide truly simplifies the process of dealing with a devastating illness with fewer side effects, it seems many patients like Liu Shi will do what it takes to overcome that mental obstacle.
(Source: First Post)
Filed Under: Drug Discovery