A research team at UNMC (University of Nebraska Medical Center) Department of Pharmacology/Experimental Neuroscience in the College of Medicine has developed a novel technique called LASER-ART (long-acting slow effective release antiretroviral therapy) which allow cells to serve as storage areas for longer administration and lower doses of anti-viral drugs for HIV/AIDS. The administration of LASER-ART would be via injections that directly target tissues where the virus may be hiding and replicating. LASER-ART does not directly attack the HIV/AIDS virus but instead opens up cellular pockets to store anti-viral drugs.
LASER-ART hopes to be administered with URMC-099 to allow for more efficient drug delivery to sites where viral replication takes place and also to preserve anti-retroviral drugs from degradation via metabolisis in the liver or excretion by the kidneys by use of drug crystals. The research was funded by Deborah Thomas who is the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance.
Future research includes development of URMC-099 which is supposed to extend the half-life of anti-retroviral drugs. If URMC-099 is able to work synergistically with LASER-ART, previously inefficacious anti-retroviral drugs that were not administrable due to quick degradation and high dosages will now be accessible to HIV/AIDS patients. More patients will also be able to take the drugs on a more management schedule with fewer dosages (e.g. monthly instead of daily).
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~Michelle Bach (Humans and Viruses 2016-2017)