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News ::
New HIV drug approved (english)
16 Mar 2003
A new type of HIV drug, designed for people who are resistant to other treatments, has been approved by the US authorities.
Roche, the makers of Fuzeon are confident it will also win European approval within weeks.
A new type of HIV drug, designed for people who are resistant to other treatments, has been approved by the US authorities.
Roche, the makers of Fuzeon are confident it will also win European approval within weeks.

Fuzeon is the first of a new class of drugs known as fusion inhibitors.

It is designed to combat the growing problem of resistance to older HIV drugs.

However, the drug is likely to be very expensive - around $20,000 a year.


" This drug will extend treatment options for people who are in dire need "
Michael Carter



And it is predicted that as few as 12,000 people world-wide will get the drug by the end of this year.

Fuzeon, also known as T-20, has been eagerly awaited because it is the first real alternative treatment in seven years for Aids patients running out of options.

Unlike existing drugs that work inside the cell, Fuzeon blocks HIV from entering healthy human immune cells.

Impressive results

Research published on the New England Journal of Medicine website found that HIV patients who took Fuzeon were twice as likely to achieve undetectable levels of HIV in their blood than those who did not take the drug.

The drug was also able to suppress HIV levels in patients who had previously developed resistance to other drugs.

US Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said on Friday: "The accelerated approval of this new drug should provide new hope for those suffering from advanced HIV infection."
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