Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society
|David R. Crowe, President |
Roger Swan, Treasurer
Box 61037, Kensington Postal Outlet
Calgary, Alberta T2N 4S6
Trevor Jones, director general of the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries...remembers the dramatic identification of the virus that causes AIDS...We werent looking for AIDS drugs, we were looking for compounds that would hit the DNA of bacteria, and we had made hundreds of these compounds. When Luc Montagnier and Robert Gallo discovered that AIDS was due to this virus, we just opened up our store cupboards and said: these should work, because they will hit the RNA of the virus. And they did, he said. Since DNA is a ubiquitous part of life, compounds that act against it can potentially stop life forms like bacteria, like viruses, like humans. Of course, they can cause cancer as well, so balancing the risks is an essential part of the fascination. They settled on an anti cancer drug which had proved too toxic to use against cancer: it was AZT. It is now part of the cocktail of treatments that has changed life utterly for huge numbers of HIV positive people in the US and Europe. [So, AZT was too toxic for short term use as chemotherapy, but perfectly acceptable for long term use against HIV!]
Radford T. Tomorrows pharmaceutical scientists will be part of the revolution. The Guardian. 2000 Mar 30;5.
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