Novabays pharmaceuticals roche pharmaceutical,nephalon pharmaceuticals and synergy pharmaceutical are working together on a drug that could reduce the risk of HIV transmission in people who have not had the virus.
The group has not yet identified which drug it is working on.
But experts are confident that a cure could be developed by the end of the year.
This could be the first time that a drug could be manufactured and marketed without human testing.
The new drug, called diphtheria toxoid, was developed by a team at the University of Minnesota and has been tested in a clinical trial.
Novacare, an Australian company, is also working on a treatment for HIV-1 that could also be made by the team at university.
But the two groups have not been able to work together on any one product.
“The big challenge with all these drug companies is that they want to have a drug, but they don’t want to be tested,” said David Ralston, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
“It’s not easy to get a clinical test done.”
The team at Mayo tested about 50 people and found no difference in their viral load when they took a placebo or a diphtermine drug, Ralstons study found.
It is unclear how the drug would affect the immune system, which is crucial to preventing infection.
The team is also developing a new HIV treatment that could be administered as a nasal spray or by injection.
A second study at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia also found that diphteprone did not cause the same side effects as the placebo, but the results of that trial were not publicly released until last week.
“These two trials have been a good start, but we have a lot more work to do,” Ralstone said.
Ralstein said it would take years before any cure for HIV is ready for the general population.
He also said that there are many more steps needed before a cure can be developed.
He called on the pharmaceutical industry to create more clinical trials and publish results, saying it is a big problem for drug companies.
“They should be required to conduct those studies, publish those results and then make the drug available to the public,” he said.