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EFdA, a Molecule Related to Flavor Enhancers Found in Soy Sauce, May Unlock Drug Therapy for HIV Patients, MU Researcher Finds

May 21, 2014

Stefan Sarafianos, an associate professor of molecular microbiology and immunology in the MU School of Medicine and a virologist at  MU’s Bond Life Sciences Center, is testing the next generation of medications that stop HIV from spreading, and is using a molecule related to flavor enhancers found in soy sauce. The compound found is more potent than Tenofovir – one of the most used HIV drugs.

Story By: MU News Bureau

COLUMBIA, Mo. – For HIV patients being treated with anti-AIDS medications, resistance to drug therapy regimens is commonplace. Often, patients develop resistance to first-line drug therapies, such as Tenofovir, and are forced to adopt more potent medications. Virologists at the University of Missouri now are testing the next generation of medications that stop HIV from spreading, and are using a molecule related to flavor enhancers found in soy sauce, to develop compounds that are more potent than Tenofovir.

“Patients who are treated for HIV infections with Tenofovir, eventually develop resistance to the drugs that prevent an effective or successful defense against the virus,” said Stefan Sarafianos, associate professor of molecular microbiology and immunology in the University of Missouri School of Medicine, and a virologist at the Bond Life Sciences Center at MU. “EFdA, the molecule we are studying, is less likely to cause resistance in HIV patients because it is more readily activated and is less quickly broken down as similar existing drugs.” More…