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Scientists ‘Tinker’ With HIV Drug Chemistry Hoping To Reduce Costs

The Clinton Health Access Initiative, founded by former President Bill Clinton, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.K. government, has hired former pharmaceutical company scientists “to tinker with the chemistry used to synthesize a key [HIV] drug, tenofovir” in an effort to reduce “the cost of manufacturing,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The chemistry effort represents a new sophistication among AIDS advocates, who fear a wave of HIV deaths in developing countries due to flat funding for international treatment programs,” the newspaper writes. The Clinton team is also looking at how to make antiretroviral drugs that are more easily absorbed by the body, which “would allow each pill to contain less antiretroviral medication while achieving the same effects,” according to the Wall Street Journal (Schoofs, 5/13).