Scientists stumbled into a breakthrough when a recent study found that a drug prescribed for toenail fungus came with a handy side effect: It appears to eradicate infectious HIV cells, causing the mitochondria to commit suicide. Best of all, there’s no rebound of virus when the drug is stopped.
A study performed at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, revealed that not only does the drug Ciclopirox completely eradicate infectious HIV from cell cultures, but unlike today’s most cutting-edge antiviral treatments, the virus doesn’t bounce back when the drug is withheld. This means it may not require a lifetime of use to keep HIV at bay.
The same group of researchers had previously shown that Ciclopirox — approved by the FDA and Europe’s EMA as safe for human use to treat foot fungus — inhibits the expression of HIV genes in culture. Now they have found that it also blocks the essential function of the mitochondria, which results in the reactivation of the cell’s suicide pathway, all while sparing the healthy cells.
Read the entire story at EDGE New England.