After the drug was inserted into test tubes containing the blood of ten AIDS patients, the HIV virus count in the blood samples had decreased by as much as 97 percent in just eight days.
The active ingredient in the drug is a peptide, a small protein, that was developed by Abraham Loyter and Assaf Friedler at Hebrew University. The peptide causes several copies of the virus’s DNA to enter the infected cell, instead of just one copy, causing the cell to self-destruct.
HIV is currently treated with a cocktail of drugs that slow the progression of the infection in the body, allowing doctors to treat AIDS as a chronic illness as opposed to a fatal one.
Loyter explained, “With our approach, we are destroying the cells, so there is no chance that the virus will awaken one day.”