Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Cure for AIDS?

Researchers, including a BYU scientist, believe they have found a new compound that could finally kill the HIV/AIDS virus, not just slow it down as current treatments do.
And, unlike the expensive, drug cocktails 25 years of research have produced for those with the deadly virus, the compound invented by Paul D. Savage of Brigham Young University appears to hunt down and kill HIV.
Although so far limited to early test tube studies, CSA-54, one of a family of compounds called Ceragenins (or CSAs), mimics the disease-fighting characteristics of anti-microbial and anti-viral agents produced naturally by a healthy human immune system.
Under a study sponsored by Ceragenix Pharmaceuticals, Savage and his colleagues developed and synthesized the compound for Vanderbilt University's School of Medicine. In his Nashville, Tenn., laboratories, Derya Unutmaz, an associate professor of Microbiology and Immunology, tested several CSAs for their ability to kill HIV.
While issuing a cautious caveat about his early results, Unutmaz acknowledged Monday that CSAs could be the breakthrough HIV/AIDS researchers have sought for so long.


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