Two Major Pharmaceutical Companies Take the Lead for an HIV Cure Last week more than 210

international scientists met in St Maarten for the "5th International Workshop on HIV Persistence, Reservoirs & Eradication Strategies". The principal goal of this workshop, launched for the first time in December 20 03 by Professors Alain Lafeuillade (Toulon, France) and Mario Stevenson (Miami, USA) is to be a catalyst between scientists wanting to put an end at the HIV pan demic. Philipsburg, Netherlands Antilles, December 12, 2011 -- More than 210 internatio nal scientists meet from December 6 to 9 for the "International Workshop on HIV Persistence, Reservoirs & Eradication Strategies". The workshop is supported by the American National Institute of Health (NIH) and the French Agency for AIDS R esearch (ANRS). "This 2011 edition of the workshop was definitely the place where it was worth t o be for those working on an HIV cure" told Pr Lafeuillade, chairman of the work shop. All researchers concerned by the field, from the National Institutes of He alth (NIH), the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), the French Agency for AIDS Research (ANRS), and the International AIDS Society (IAS) were there, sharing latest ideas, new findings and future initiatives to discover a cure aga inst HIV. For the first time in this workshop some pharmaceutical companies openly spoke a bout their current research for new strategies aimed at eradicating HIV infectio n. Romas Geleziunas from Gilead (Foster City, USA) and Roger Sutmuller from Tibotec Janssen (Antwerp, Belgium) clearly showed that finding a cure was a top priorit y in their agenda. Both companies have developed in vitro models of HIV latency and are intensely screening libraries of compounds to attack HIV in its last hid ing places. "With the spread of generics, ART (antiretroviral therapy) is no longer the way for firms to make money" a pharmaceutical company executive told us off the reco rds, "and that is a great opportunity for the most innovative companies because we have the power to be the first in the race for a cure". "This is a dramatic switch in the way some pharmaceutical companies are consider ing the discovery of an HIV cure, Pr Lafeuillade added, and it is for the best r egarding our patients". "The pharmaceutical companies and private foundations that missed the train at t his workshop will soon realize that they are obsolete" he emphasized. The 6th edition of the "International Workshop on HIV Persistence, Reservoirs & Eradication Strategies" is scheduled in Miami on December 3-6, 2013. "That means that we have 2 years to prove patients that academic scientists and those form the industry can make great strides together", Prof. Lafeuillade concluded. Contact: Alain Lafeuillade General Hospital 1208 Avenue Colonel Picot Toulon, France 33-4-94616340 lafeuillade@orange.fr http://www.informedhorizons.com/persistence2011/