Bevirimat, a promising drug against HIV, was recently acquired by Myriad Pharmaceuticals from Panacos Pharmaceuticals of Watertown, MA. Under the terms of sale, Myriad acquires the rights to develop and eventually sell the drug, while Panacos receives a $7 million payment.
Bevirimat is an anti-HIV drug derived from a betulinic acid-like compound, first isolated from Syzygium claviflorum, a Chinese herb. It is believed to inhibit HIV by a novel mechanism, so-called maturation inhibition. (From Wikipedia).
According to a press release from Panacos:
"Bevirimat (PA-457) is a maturation inhibitor, the first in this new class of HIV drugs under development. Bevirimat is designed to have potent activity against a broad range of HIV strains, and studies have shown bevirimat is a potent inhibitor of HIV isolates that are resistant to currently approved drugs. Panacos has completed 15 clinical studies with bevirimat in nearly 650 patients and healthy volunteers, showing significant reductions in viral load in HIV-infected patients and a promising safety profile. It is currently in Phase 2b clinical studies. Panacos previously determined the optimal dose range of bevirimat and identified patient response predictors to bevirimat, which now have been confirmed in multiple laboratory analyses and a prospective study. Panacos has recently developed a tablet formulation of bevirimat that demonstrates bioavailability and pharmacokinetics comparable to that of the previous solution formulation."
Panacos has this cool movie on how Bevirimat works. Takes awhile to load, though.
Prevention is always better than cure. Always practice Safe Sex, its cheaper that way.