Italians make breakthrough in AIDS drug research

(ANSA) – Rome, June 22 – It may mean the end of a lifetime of drugs for AIDS patients.

Italian researches have found a treatment to rehabilitate the immune system and get patients off medication, according to a new study.

In lab tests, scientists led by Andrea Savarino at the Superior Institute of Health in Rome have developed a cocktail of drugs that essentially teaches the immune system how to counter the effects of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome even after drugs are no longer administered.

The results of the treatment, which now must undergo clinical trials on humans, were published in PLoS Pathogens, a peer-reviewed journal.

Two drugs play a key role in the cocktail: Maraviroc, an antiretroviral drug, and Auranofin, which lab tests show reduces the viral reservoir that lies latent in the body’s T-cells and induces containment of viral load.

Savarino emphasizes that each drug in his cocktail has already been approved for clinical trials on humans.

Enrico Garci, president of Rome’s Superior Institute of Health, says the treatment not only makes a critical contribution towards finding a ‘definitive AIDS cure’, but that it also could lead to a significant cost decrease for the healthcare system.


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