Therapeutic Areas

HIV

Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1 (HIV-1) infects immune system cells, destroying or damaging their function, and causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The progressive deterioration caused by the virus, characterized by the progressive loss of CD4+ helper T lymphocytes (T cells), eventually leaves the immune system unable to fight off infection and disease. Opportunistic infections, often associated the with severe immunodeficiency, take advantage of the depleted immune system.

In 2007, an estimated 33 million people were infected with an additional 6,800 new cases globally every day. Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, an estimated 25 million people have died from AIDS-related complications. (UNAIDS, 2008). The enormous need for effective therapies has driven the growth of a huge antiviral drug market currently worth $11 billion globally.

Despite the growth and maturity of the HIV drug market, approximately 15% of new HIV cases are resistant to at least one of the four classes of FDA approved drugs. AIDS patients also generate resistant virus over the course of treatment often leading to multi-drug resistant strains of HIV. Combination therapy is a difficult regimen to follow where 75% of patients experience on ore more serious side-effects. Non-compliance also exacerbates the drug resistance problem.

Therefore, at AGS we are developing an entirely new class of HIV therapeutic that is inherently less vulnerable to escape mutations by the virus, but can also be combined with other drugs to maintain effective treatment and enhance quality of life.