A group of leading HIV experts call for the exploration of a new approach to treating HIV – one that could ultimately help eradicate the virus – through a collaboration involving academia, industry, government and patient advocates.
This new approach to HIV treatment is discussed in a perspective article published in the March 6, 2009 issue of Science.
The article, provocatively titled, “The Challenge of a Cure for HIV Infection,” is authored by three academics, Doug Richman, USCD, David Margolis, UNC, Warner Greene, UCSF, one community advocate, Martin Delaney, Project Inform and two industry scientist leaders Daria Hazuda, Merck and Roger Pomerantz, Tibotec, Johnson & Johnson.
This diverse group came together to set a goal for the next era in HIV therapeutics – drug free remission – and assemble a coordinated initiative to identify potential interventions and a clinical assessment to reach this goal.
The initiative, which the authors coined a “collaboratory,” aims to accelerate the progress of individual research groups, harness the drug discovery capabilities of industry and governments to coordinate regulatory approaches and mobilise funding.
“A successful vaccine or microbicide still remains a significant challenge in spite of billions of dollars and years of research, and having millions of people on lifelong highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) may not be sustainable,” said Roger Pomerantz, FACP, President of Tibotec Inc, Johnson & Johnson.
“At Tibotec, we have a heritage of partnership and collaboration, and we are committed to forging new approaches with others to develop HIV therapeutics that could finally eradicate the disease.”