Monday, December 7, 2009

Apricitabine May Be Effective Against XMRV

Apricitabine, an NRTI structurally related to lamivudine, may provide activity against XMRV Reverse transcriptase.  XMRV, like the drug resistant strain of HIV-1 contains the M184V substitution, explaining why it is succeptible to AZT and not 3TC (lamivudine).  The FDA has granted fast-track approval to the drug, meaning it should be available some time next year.  It appears to be extremely well tolerated, and was not associated with abnormal blood lipids, liver or kidney toxicity, or bone marrow suppression.


  1. Is there a reason why some antivirals cause so bad side effects? Is it because they are not selective enough and interfere with healthy/ useful procedures in the cell as well?

  2. Dr. Luckett:

    Before this recent XMRV/AZT study was published, I kept hearing that a vaccine for XMRV would be pretty easy to create. Given this new information, would that still be the case?

    Thank you

  3. Some anti-virals inhibit human DNA polymerase alpha more strongly than others, while some don't target this enzyme at all. The older D-isomer reverse transcriptase inhibitors affect this enzyme, while the newer L-isomer drugs have no effect on human DNA polymerase alpha, while targeting reverse-transcriptase. Protease inhibitors on the other hand interfere with the insulin signalling pathway.

    Second question: It is very difficult to predict the ease by which a vaccine can be produced - case in point: no clinically effective vaccine exists for HIV, yet a vaccine exists to protect cats against Feline Leukemia Virus. And the vaccine would have to be given very early in life before primary infection to prevent any sort of neuroimmune disease such as Autism.

  4. Dear Dr Luckett. I am xmrv positive (viral culture), have cfs symptoms since birth. Is there any hope for us long term sufferers?
    It seems that by now all my cells will have xmrv virus in them, so would apricitabine be useful?

  5. It is my understanding that Lamivudine is only used to treat HIV in combination with AZT. I'm not clear on whether this study indicates they've tried that combo, or only as I'm understanding, that Lamivudine alone is not effective against XMRV?