The Hunt For Cures: AIDS

Still No Vaccine, but Better Antiviral Drugs Are on the Way

R. Dani Bolognesi still remembers the afternoon in 1994 when one of his research colleagues, Tom Matthews, ran into his office at Duke University with some exciting news. While searching for something that might work as a vaccine against HIV, Matthews had stumbled upon a compound that blocked the AIDS virus from binding to--and thus infecting--healthy cells. "I remember it as if it were yesterday," says Bolognesi, now CEO of the company he co-founded to explore the compound's commercial potential. "He said, 'You're not going to believe this. I've got something that's blocking fusion!'"

It turns out that the compound Matthews...

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