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InBrief · 21 Jan 2020

New Anti-HIV Drug Candidate Thioraviroc Approved for Clinical Study

On May 5, 2019, Thioraviroc, a new anti-HIV drug candidate that binds to CCR5 (one of the key co-recepetors for HIV infection), received a clinical trial permission issued by the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA), formerly known as the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA).

Thioraviroc was jointly developed by scientists from the CAS Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (SIMM) and the CAS Kunming Institute of Zoology (KIZ). To develop this new drug candidate, several research teams converged their efforts and specialties, covering computer-aided drug design, efficient synthesis of these new drug structures, illustrating how they bound to CCR5 and testing their anti-HIV activities. The preclinical tests showed that Thioraviroc reprsented a promising drug candidate with good pharmacokinetic profiles and good safety in rats and dogs. More importantly, compared with the only anti-HIV drug Maraviro available on market since 2007 that also acts as CCR5 antagonist, Thioraviroc proved itself a better antagonist against CCR5 and showed either improved or equivalent anti-HIV potency against various HIV strains, clinical strains and resistant strains. Scientists are currently preparing Thioraviroc for the Phase I clinical study.
(By YAN Fusheng)