Future clinical prospects for entry inhibitors

  • Sonya L. Heath
  • J. Michael Kilby
Part of the Milestones in Drug Therapy book series (MDT)


Some of the earliest attempts to develop HIV therapies involved agents intended to block viral entry into host cells, but only very recently and only once (with the FDA approval of a membrane fusion inhibitor, enfuvirtide, in 2003) has this strategic approach resulted in a commercially available agent. Indeed, for more than 15 years, from 1987 to 2003, all available antiretroviral therapies targeted one of two HW-encoded enzymes, reverse transcriptase (RT) or protease, which are critical components of later steps in the viral life cycle. Increasingly convenient combinations of RT and protease inhibitors (PI) have proven capable of potently suppressing viral replication and have dramatically improved the outlook for many HIV-infected patients. However, the sustained success of these enzyme inhibitors has been limited somewhat by selection for drug-resistant viral isolates, the necessity of strict dosing adherence, and the potential for toxicity. Thus, there remains a critical need for development of new therapeutic classes involving mechanisms of action distinctly different from RT and PI drugs. There is preliminary evidence demonstrating that viral entry inhibitors have potential to be safe and effective additions to the HIV armamentarium, and this class would be expected to have a low risk of cross-resistance with conventional antiretroviral drugs.


West Nile Virus Antimicrob Agent CCR5 Antagonist Fusion Inhibitor Entry Inhibitor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag/Switzerland 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonya L. Heath
    • 1
  • J. Michael Kilby
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, 1917 ClinicUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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