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Treating and Controlling HIV

Figure 1My colleagues and I had been working for a number of years to develop a novel therapeutic inhibitor of the HIV-1 protease enzyme. Eventually, a specific and potent inhibitor, indinavir, was developed and brought into Phase I trials in patients persistently infected with the virus. While sitting at home on a dreary, cold winter night in early 1994, I was staring at the figure that depicted the patient's plasma virus levels while on treatment. I was depressed by the observation that most p

Emilio Emini
<p>Figure 1</p>

My colleagues and I had been working for a number of years to develop a novel therapeutic inhibitor of the HIV-1 protease enzyme. Eventually, a specific and potent inhibitor, indinavir, was developed and brought into Phase I trials in patients persistently infected with the virus. While sitting at home on a dreary, cold winter night in early 1994, I was staring at the figure that depicted the patient's plasma virus levels while on treatment. I was depressed by the observation that most patients exhibited only a modest and transient drop in virus levels. Yet, one patient in particular (blue diamonds), presented a profound and sustained antiviral effect. I recall the sense of excitement as I arrived at the belated realization that, if such an effect were possible in one patient, then it should be possible in all if we could design a sufficiently potent therapeutic regimen. This led...

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