59 The current treatment options rely on a combination therapy of at least three antivirals. These chemical molecules are targeted at two viral enzymes (RT and protease) and the virus–cell fusion process. The main problem of
the current drugs is their diminishing effectiveness as the virus develops resistance and the wide array of side effects. As an outcome of several years of extensive research, great progress has been achieved in the discovery of potent anti-HIV agents from nature. A number of plant based natural products have been used as lead compounds because of their specific activity and low toxicity. Many of them possess the potential to interfere with particular viral target, which can result in mechanisms of action complementary to those of existing antiviral drugs. Although no plant-derived drug is currently in clinical use to treat AIDS, promising activities have been shown Capmatinib solubility dmso by three natural products or natural product-derived candidates in preclinical and early clinical trials. Sarawak MediChem Pharmaceuticals currently started phase II clinical trials of calanolide Crizotinib cell line A for assessment of long-term anti-HIV activity of calanolide A in combination
with other anti-HIV agents and an assessment of the long-term durability of such drug combinations. Another two lead molecules which are licensed to Panacos Pharmaceuticals, 3-hydroxymethyl-4-methyl DCK (PA-334B) and DSB (PA-457), have also successfully completed preclinical
studies. Recently, Panacos has started phase II clinical studies of PA-457. These three clinical candidates have the potential to come up as drugs for treatment of HIV infection. Although the currently available synthetic drugs are to a certain extent capable of reducing viral load, the existing therapy still has many disadvantages. This review stresses on the importance of discovering new plant derived compounds for chemotherapy of HIV owing to the growing adverse side effects of the currently prevailing too synthetic drugs. Many constituents form plants have been isolated, identified and evaluated in vitro for anti-HIV activity, but in-vivo studies are still scarce. It is only through carefully designed and conducted clinical trials with the purified active compound that the efficacy and safety of the compound can be unequivocally established. More systematic evaluation of existing herbal compounds is urgently needed, especially to assess determinants of success or failure in-vivo. Since many of these drugs are still in experimental phase, the information collected should be used to improve existing endeavors and help develop new ones. A multiplicity of variables needs to be assessed and it is only with systematic and repeated evaluations that we can hope to answer some of the crucial questions we are faced with. There is a dearth of rigorous, long-term measures of effectiveness and sustainability.