North Carolina researcher receives award for new ant-HIV drug that simplifies treatment regime

Susan Daluge of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, will be honored on December 8 by the world's largest scientific society for her contributions to the development of a new anti-HIV drug that can dramatically simplify treatment. She will receive one of four 2000 Industrial Innovation Awards at the American Chemical Society's Southeast-Southwest Combined Regional Meeting in New Orleans.

Ziagen increases the anti-viral potency of AZT and 3TC, two traditional anti-HIV drugs. It is particularly useful for patients who cannot tolerate so-called protease inhibitors - another class of highly effective anti-HIV drugs - because they experience side effects.

Ziagen in combination with AZT and 3TC provides a safe, effective alternative. Moreover, the three drugs can be combined in a single pill (Trizivir) that is taken twice daily instead of as 10 to 20 separate pills.

"Ziagen is the first carbocyclic nucleoside to be approved as a drug," says Daluge, noting that many other compounds in the same class have been studied for more than 30 years by anti-viral and anti-cancer researchers.

As a researcher at Glaxo Wellcome Inc., Daluge has been working on Ziagen since 1988. She led the group of scientists whose early work lead to the selection of Ziagen for clinical trials. After it proved effective in 1995, a way had to be found to synthesize it on a large enough scale to make it available to patients. Daluge came up with an approach the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved in late 1998.

Through its industrial innovation awards program, the American Chemical Society recognizes individuals and teams whose discoveries and inventions contribute to the commercial success of their companies and enhance the quality of life.


Contact: Amy Brandon
American Chemical Society

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