A pharmaceutical company is seeking to bring the global HIV/AIDS pandemic to a halt with a new drug.
The company, GW Pharmaceuticals, said it has been developing the product in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Gw Pharmaceuticals is developing a drug called GW-10, the company said in a statement Tuesday.
The drug is being tested in the US for people with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and a clinical trial is scheduled to begin next month in New York City.
It is expected to be available in 2018.
The agency, which oversees global health and development, and the pharmaceutical industry have both endorsed the drug as a potentially lifesaving treatment for people infected with HIV.
“There’s no doubt the treatment has the potential to make a difference in preventing and controlling HIV/AD,” said Dr. Eric J. Epstein, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“It is being studied in more than 100 countries and is on the verge of FDA approval in the U.S. and in Europe.”
The drug has been developed by GW Pharmaceutical and is the first in a series of drug candidates GW hopes will help slow the spread of the disease.
The company said it is the world’s first drug to target a genetic mutation in the HIV gene that causes the immune system to attack and kill HIV-infected cells.
The gene is believed to be responsible for the disease’s deadly effects, including the virus’ ability to survive in the body.
The treatment has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but GW Pharmaceutical’s website said it would undergo clinical trials.
The GW-11 gene-targeted drug is the second such drug GW has tested, after GW-7.
The other drug is a treatment called GW 5.GW Pharmaceuticals said GW-13 is expected in the near future.
Gwen Johnson, a spokeswoman for GW Pharmaceutical, said the company has been studying GW-9, GW-12, GW 10 and GW 13, which were approved by other countries.
The companies did not immediately respond to questions about the clinical trials and GW-14, which is scheduled for early next year in the UK.