New drug promises a fresh lease of life for HIV patients

As the onus of governments around the world and the World Health Organization continues to be towards curbing the spread of HIV through awareness, scientists and researchers continue to explore all avenues for even the remotest possibility of a cure.

As a matter of fact, a new drug that was recently approved by the FDA is touted to offer some respite to HIV patients who failed to respond to other forms of therapy, including multi-drug treatments.

Fighting drug resistant HIV

HIV drug resistance, a dangerous condition in which the HIV virus successfully mutates and replicates in the human body despite treatment with antiretroviral drugs, can severely limit therapeutic options for patients.

In fact, in extreme cases the condition is considered to be as worse as not receiving any form of treatment at all.

However, with a new injectable drug called Trogarzo, when clubbed with a few other antiretroviral drugs can successfully prevent the virus from mutating in the body.

With almost 25,000 (just an estimated number) of patients in America believed to be suffering from multidrug resistant HIV, the approval of the drug was a much welcome move.

Unlike conventional antiretroviral drugs which belong to the category of Protease inhibitors, Trogarzo is categorized as a CD4-directed post-attachment HIV-1 inhibitor. It attaches itself to the CD4+ receptor cells which in turn prevents the virus from infecting those.

With regular dosage, it can help mitigate the spread of HIV and strengthen the immune system in such patients.

What will it cost a patient?

Often, the arrival of a new promising drug is marred by patents and laws which hike the price to unaffordable levels, especially in third world nations, where the condition is more prevalent than ever.

However, the acquisition cost of Torgarzo is pretty low and some agencies expect that each intravenous infusion may cost as less as $25 for a patient and it can be administered both in house or in a healthcare center with ease.

Clinical trials have proven the drug to be extremely successful in reducing the viral load in as much as 80% of the subjects. Considering that these infections were not responding to any of the treatment options being used currently, that’s a breakthrough for sure.

Who manufactures Trogarzo?

The next big question that patients around the world is who manufactures Trogarzo. Well, a lot of people might be a tad surprised to know that Trogarzo is manufactured by WuXi AppTec, a Chinese Biologics firm. However, the patent rests with TaiMed Biologic, a Taiwanese firm.

Also, Theratechnologies Inc, a Quebec company is the one that will be marketing the drug in the US and Canada.

What’s more important is that the drug is FDA approved for use and is expected to be made available around the world in as less as 6 weeks from now.

With a significant chunk of the patient population struggling with HIV related complications and an impending death due the drug resistant condition, Trogarzo certainly has a large market to cater to.

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