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NewHiv Targets

Identifying novel classes of HIV inhibitors
EC contribution
: € 550.000
: 24 months
Starting date
: 01/01/2005
Funding scheme
: Specific Targeted Research Project
: HIV drug screening
Contract/Grant agreement number
: LSHP-CT-2004-012169
Project web-site
: -


The objective of the NewHiv Targets project was to design novel screening assays allowing the identification of novel classes of HIV inhibitors.


Despite the success of highly active antiretrovirals to control HIV replication in infected patients, at least in countries that can afford these treatments, new drugs are still needed. Widely used drugs mainly target two viral enzymes: reverse transcriptase and protease. However, about 20% of patients cannot tolerate antiviral cocktails in the short term, and long-term treatments are often associated with severe side effects. There is also increasing concern about the spread of drug-resistant HIV variants.


The project partners aimed to identify lead compounds that could impact HIV through new mechanisms. Academic experts in virology and cellular biology joined forces with antiviral-research specialists and pharmacologists to perform anti-HIV high-throughput screening (HTS) assays. The partners defined one unexploited viral target, for which there are no available inhibitors: the critical step of viral release from the cell. This novel target was chosen because important recent discoveries have shed new light into the molecular mechanisms of virus budding, thereby rendering this critical step in the HIV lifecycle a feasible target for drug development.

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