Learn More About Medicines in Development for HIV/AIDS

Medicines in Development for HIV/AIDS

America’s biopharmaceutical research companies are currently developing 73 innovative medicines and vaccines to help the nearly 1.2 million Americans living with HIV infection today, according to a new report from PhRMA. The medicines in development – all in either clinical trials or under review by the FDA – include 40 antivirals, 25 vaccines, four cell or gene therapies, and four immunomodulators. Examples of potential innovations included in the report include:

• An antisense gene therapy that uses genetic material derived from HIV-1 itself to remove disease-causing aspects of the virus.

• A transdermal vaccine comprised of DNA plasmids that helps suppress virus replication and destroys HIV-infected cells.

• A first-in-class medicine that is intended to prevent the HIV virus from attaching to new cells and breaking through the cell membrane.


While HIV/AIDS remains one of the most devastating diseases affecting people around the world, overall global growth of the disease has stabilized and there are fewer AIDS-related deaths, due in large part to the increased availability of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART or ART). Since the introduction of HAART combinations in the mid-1990s, AIDS-related death rates in the United States have dropped 79 percent.

A second new report examines how continued progress against HIV/AIDS has been achieved over time. The PhRMA-sponsored white paper by Boston Healthcare Associates, Inc. (BHA), Recognizing the Value of Innovation in HIV/AIDS Therapylooks at the evolution of HIV/AIDS treatment from the 1980s, when the disease was an acute, fatal disease to its status today as a chronic, manageable condition.

"Together, these two new reports highlight how far we have come in the fight against HIV/AIDS over the last few decades," said PhRMA President and CEO John J. Castellani. "Through a series of complex steps and incremental gains in knowledge, therapeutic options for patients with HIV/AIDS are transforming the treatment paradigm and prolonging lives. America’s biopharmaceutical researchers are focusing on developing improved treatment regimens, more effective treatments, and are intensifying their efforts to develop preventative vaccines."

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