OTT30: Epivir – First anti-HIV Drug

2015 marks the 30th anniversary for Emory OTT and part of that celebration includes a series of blog posts highlighting important “firsts” for the office.  This month we highlight Epivir™, Emory’s first anti-HIV approved drug.

Developed by Emory faculty, Dennis Liotta, PhD and Raymond Schnazi, PhD, Epivir™ contains a compound called 3TC (lamivudine). This drug is in the class known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), this class of drugs interrupts the replication process of double-stranded viral DNA, resulting in the inability of HIV to multiply.Epivir Pill Bottle Photograph

In 1995 when this drug was approved OTT and the inventor’s believed this was the validation of the University’s antiviral research program and its role in HIV research. It was also believed that Epivir™ was at the forefront of the fight against HIV and had a bright future.

Those predictions came true as Epivir™ was a ground breaking and widely prescribed drug and is currently contained in four FDA approved drugs used for the treatment of HIV. Since Epivir™ was approved and sold as singly 3TC has been approved to be sold in combination with zidovudine as Combivir®, in fixed-dose combination with zidovudine and abacivir sulfate as Trizivir® and, in fixed-dose combination with abacavir sulfate as Epzicom™. Lamivudine is also approved for the treatment of HBV (Epivir-HBV®).

To find out more about our success stories or our current pipeline visit our website.