UNMC Pharmacy Dean Part of Groundbreaking HIV Study

Feb 11, 2014

A recent study completed by UNMC, along with the University of Minnesota, looked at the effectiveness of medications used to treat HIV.

The study found that while anti-HIV drugs are effective at fighting the virus, these drugs are less effective at getting to the areas where the virus replicates, the lymph and gut tissues.

Dr. Courtney Fletcher, Dean of the UNMC College of Pharmacy, is the first author of the paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

Fletcher says the results may seem discouraging but are actually quite helpful.

"We now can develop new drugs that have better characteristics for penetrating these lymphoid tissues and we can also develop new formulations of existing drugs to try to improve the amount of drug that gets into these tissues.”

For the study, principal investigator, Dr. Timothy Schacker, from the University of Minnesota, collected lymph nodes and gut samples from HIV patients at regular intervals. 

Schacker then studied the effect that antiretroviral therapy had on these patients. 

Up next, Fletcher and Schacker are working on a comprehensive study of all available anti-retroviral drugs and some new investigational drugs to try and identify an effective treatment combination.