The formidable task of controlling HIV-1 infection is approached in three strategically distinct ways: drug treatments focus on hampering virus maturation and infectivity, viral DNA synthesis and replication, or inhibiting the viral entry point into a cell. Recently, anti-entry and anti-fusion peptide compounds have received a great deal of attention. However, because of their very short half-lives and necessary frequent dosing, their utility has been somewhat restricted. Maintenance of relatively stable drug levels is crucial in fighting viral infections, especially with respect to the prevention of viral resistance.

The focus of ConjuChem with its long-lasting DAC™: HIV conjugate is on gp41, a protein critical for membrane fusion and infection process. C34 peptide has been shown to block virus-mediated cell-to-cell fusion and de novo HIV-1 infection of T-cells. By applying DAC™ technology to this peptide, which in its native form is short-lived, the plasma residence time increases and consequently, its antiviral activity is sustained. This sustained antiviral activity is particularly important in fighting against developing viral resistance. Based on these exciting in vitro results, further studies are being conducted focusing on the choice of a good and reliable in vivo model.

Currently, DAC™: HIV is in the Pre-Clinical Phase