New HIV drug said to show promise

A new way of treating HIV could be on the way, says drug developer Biotron. On Tuesday it released preliminary results of an early trial of its lead anti-viral drug, BIT225, on 21 HIV-infected patients in Thailand. "The results suggest that BIT225 is a candidate agent that could be useful in future eradication strategies," Biotron managing director Michelle Miller said.

A new way of treating HIV could be on the way, says drug developer Biotron. On Tuesday it released preliminary results of an early trial of its lead anti-viral drug, BIT225, on 21 HIV-infected patients in Thailand. "The results suggest that BIT225 is a candidate agent that could be useful in future eradication strategies," Biotron managing director Michelle Miller said.

Anti-HIV drugs target the virus in T-cells and aim to keep the virus in check and ensure the number of T-cells stays at a healthy level. But these drugs do not target "reservoirs" of HIV that exist in other cells, and which act as continuing sources of infection.

"Existing drugs clear that up [the T-cell infection], but they don't ever clear up this underlying reservoir," Dr Miller said. She said Biotron's drug worked against the underlying HIV reservoir.