Computer Model May Lead to Improved Anti-HIV Drug Combination Therapies

In a step toward the possibility of replacing drug “cocktails” with a single pill a day, Johns Hopkins and Harvard researchers have developed what they are calling “the first accurate computer simulation to explain drug effects.” To create the simulation, AIDS experts combined data collected during thousands of tests of more than 20 anti-HIV drugs.

“With the help of our simulation, we can now tell with a fair degree of certainty what level of viral suppression is being achieved – how hard it is for the virus to grow and replicate – for a particular drug combination, at a specific dosage and drug concentration in the blood, even when a dose is missed.”

— Robert Siliciano, M.D., Ph.D, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator

The computer model has already helped to explain how and why some patients without evidence of drug resistance fail to see improvements using some treatment regimens. Researchers expect the study findings will help to rule out drug combinations that are unlikely to work and thereby make clinical trials and development of future combination therapies more efficient.

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