New HIV Drug Granted Priority Status; Could Revolutionize AIDS Treatments

A new experimental drug for fighting HIV was recently granted priority status by the Food and Drug Administration leading to cautious optimism the new treatment would have better results in controlling the deadly virus.

The new drug, known as Dolutegravir, was given the preferred status and means the FDA feels confidently this new treatment would be far better than options currently on the market.

Dolutegravir was developed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and has analysts already predicting that the drug will turn into a billion-dollar-a-year windfall for the pharmaceutical manufacturer.

The drug is classified as an Integrase Inhibitor which prevents the virus from spreading to previously unaffected cells.

This new development comes shortly after researchers in Australia published findings that included a possible cure for the virus after results from years of experiments showed a particular treatment method to be highly effective.

The research was conducted by David Harrich of Queensland Institute of Medical Research, who had been working on finding effective treatments for the auto-immune disease since 1989.

He uncovered a method that changes the proteins which allow the virus to replicate and spread as a way to nullify the virus within a host.

The change, in essence, prevents the virus from replicating in the host by mutating the HIV virus, called Nullbasic, and it is thought to prevent the virus from causing further harm to the immune system.

The breakthrough reportedly happened back in 2007 while Harrich was conducting research at the Queensland Institute right before funding for his project was set to expire.

"With money running out, I had my PhD student try one more experiment in late 2007. The experiment was to test if Nullbasic could render HIV non-infectious. The student came back and said it worked, so I told him to do it again and again and again. It works every time," Harrich told The Australian Times.