BioWorld Today recently highlighted a new report published by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America that identifies 97 new drugs and vaccines in development to treat or prevent HIV/AIDS and related conditions.The report, which was released ahead of the 21st anniversary of "World AIDS Day" on December 1, found that the 97 products in development include 23 vaccines and 54 antivirals. These drugs are either in human clinical trials or awaiting approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Thirty-one medicines to treat HIV/AIDS have been approved since scientists first identified the virus that causes AIDS more than 20 years ago. The first HIV/AIDS medicine was approved in 1987, just four years after the virus was identified. "We are greatly encouraged by these critically important medicines and vaccines in development to treat and prevent HIV infection," said PhRMA President and CEO Billy Tauzin. "Pharmaceutical researchers are continuing their efforts to develop new therapies and vaccines to improve and lengthen the lives of HIV-infected patients." The CDC estimates that since the introduction of highly active anti-retroviral therapy in 1995, the annual number of deaths in the U.S. due to AIDS has dropped by more than 70 percent. "As a result of HIV/AIDS medicines, a disease that was once a virtual death sentence can now be controlled and treated as if it were a chronic disease," stated Tauzin. "And the new medicines our scientists are working on right now bring hope for even more promising results in the future."
********** Published: December 11, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 33