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Dr. Asim Debnath’s laboratory at the New York Blood Center has been devoted to discovering novel drugs against HIV. Since their first publication in 2005 of the first-ever reported inhibitor NBD-556, the team has made numerous modifications to design many novel clinically relevant inhibitors. As a result, a new inhibitor, NBD-14189, was recently tested for its efficacy against HIV-1 infection in an experimental (hu-mouse) model. This study was performed by Prof. Cheryl Stoddart of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) under the contract from NIH/NIAID. The study revealed that NBD-14189 showed similar activity as Truvada, a combination drug that is now approved by the FDA for Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) against HIV-1 for the high-risk population. Although more work needs to be done, this is an exciting finding which may lead to the clinical development of one of the new generation inhibitors developed by Dr. Debnath’s group.  A patent has now been filed by Dr. Debnath.

In an email, Prof. Stoddart made the following comments:

“…NBD-14189 clearly had potent activity at the top dose with a really beautiful dose response. What is remarkable is how infrequently this happens – 9 out of 10 new drugs we test in the mice have no antiviral activity.  In fact, yours is the first new drug to show activity in the mice in more than 6 years!"