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Rex Graham
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I’m CEO of San Diego Biotechnology Connection ( I have a M.S. degree (microbiology) from the University of Iowa and completed a one-year science journalism fellowship at MIT. I have been an award-winning science writer and editor for 30 years for newspapers,... More
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  • "Cure For HIV" 0 comments
    Aug 3, 2012 6:38 PM | about stocks: PFE

    Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) has the only FDA-approved drug in a class called CCR5 antagonists. A "cure for HIV" will most likely focus on CCR5, top scientists agree.

    If not by Pfizer's maraviroc, then a next-generation version of it could be part of the long-awaited cure for an infection that affects an estimated 33 million people worldwide.

    This isn't like fusion energy, where the breakthrough is always 30 years away. In this case, a conservative bet is more like 10 years. At most. Actually, a cure for HIV has been accomplished in one patient, which scientists agree amounts to a proof of concept of the CCR5 approach.

    Some background:

    Mutations in human genes cause many diseases, from muscular dystrophy to cystic fibrosis. However, a mutation in the CCR5 gene has a huge health benefit: people with it are almost completely resistant to HIV infection. Since that discovery was made in 1996, Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies have become focused on developing a treatment that mimics the effects of a CCR5 mutation.

    But options other than CCR5 antagonists have been reported in a flurry of scientific publications and announcements in July. Interestingly, most new approaches also focus on CCR5.

    Here is a summary I wrote that describes the race for a cure for HIV:

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

    Stocks: PFE
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