This medication helps treat drug-resistant HIV while boosting patients’ immune system

Ibalizumab, a new HIV drug, reduces viral replication and increases immune cells in patients with drug-resistant forms of the infection, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers enrolled 40 patients in the study who a multidrug-resistant HIV infection, which could not be treated with other antiviral medications.

After taking  ibalizumb for one week, 83 percent of patients  experienced a decrease in viral load. After 25 weeks, about half of the patients saw viral load suppression dip below the level of detection. Researchers also found an increase in CD4 T-cells, which plan an important role in the immune system. Only one individual had an adverse event thought to be ibalizumb-related.

While several HIV drugs target the virus, many fail to thoroughly suppress the virus, which leads to drug resistance and allows the disease to progress, according to Futurity. Before the FDA ibalizumb in March 2018, there was not a class of drugs that both targeted HIV and boosted a patient's immune system.

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