The Pfizer Laboratories have announced that the American and European drug regulation agencies (the FDA and EMEA) have decided to “fasttrack” evaluation of Maraviroc. This drug could become the first of a new class of treatments against HIV known as anti-CCR5 inhibitors.
Rather than fighting against the AIDS virus through the lymphocytes, drugs of this type prevent entry by the virus produced by cells already infected. Why “drugs” in the plural? Because although Maraviroc is out in pole position, two other CCR5 drugs had already been developed by Schering-Plough (Vicriviroc) and by GSK (Aplaviroc). However, the development of both these drugs was interrupted at an early stage.
To date more than a thousand patients worldwide have been included in the Maraviroc clinical studies programme which has reached development phase III . The fact that the authorities have decided to fasttrack the evaluation procedure for this drug means in effect that it should be completed within 6 months. A particularly short period for a product whose initial synthesis dates back to only 1997