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New HIV drug’s secret is flexibility

A new HIV drug’s effectiveness comes from its ability to adapt to the constantly mutating virus, changes that can prevent existing AIDS drugs from working.

The drug, called Edurant, is the first in three years to be approved by the Federal Drug Administration, a decade after it was first developed in 2001.

“For a drug to successfully make it to the finish line, countless obstacles must be overcome,” says Eddy Arnold, professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Rutgers. “As a researcher in biomedical sciences I can tell you that helping to create new medicines is something you always dream about.”

The innovative models developed by Arnold and colleagues explain not only why Edurant, and Intelence, approved in 2008, are particularly effective against drug-resistant viruses but can also be used in the development of treatments for a wide variety of other diseases.

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