Conference Proceeding

Personalizing the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients: A focus on Pharmacogenomics

Dr. Mirza R. Baig,
Dubai Pharmacy College, United Arab Emirates

Although AIDS is not generally considered a genetic disease, the considerable heterogeneity in the epidemic is at least partially determined by variants in genes that moderate virus replication and immunity.

Dr. Mirza R. Baig is currently working as a Professor and Head of Clinical Pharmacy Department in Dubai Pharmacy College, Dubai, UAE. He did his PhD in Clinical Pharmacy from University Science Malaysia (USM), Malaysia. He is having about 16 years of experience in Teaching and Research. He published 4 books related to Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Care. He published more than 35 Research papers and articles in International Journals and also is in the editorial board in various international journals, including reviewer for couple of Elsevier journals. He supervised numerous master and PhD students for their research projects. He also reviewed several Master and PhD thesis as an external examiner. He received many awards in his career, Best presentation award in IPC 2003, in India; Best research paper in 2005, in India; Best oral presentation in Dubai 2015 & 2016; outstanding scientist Award 2016, by a research foundation in India. His area of research is Pharmacoepidemiology, Drug safety and efficacy, Drug Utilization Studies, Pharamcovigilance, Pharmaceutical Care and Public health.

Although AIDS is not generally considered a genetic disease, the considerable heterogeneity in the epidemic is at least partially determined by variants in genes that moderate virus replication and immunity. Geneticists at the US National Cancer Institute’s Laboratory of Genomic Diversity initiated a program to search the human genome for AIDS restriction genes (ARGs). Validation and interpretation of the 14 known ARGs is done and about 90% of the genetic and non-genetic influence on AIDS progression in people infected with HIV-1 is undiscovered. Currently antiretroviral therapy (ART) helps with treating those individuals already infected and helps to reduce the chance of spreading the disease. Despite the benefits of ART for its use in fighting HIV, there are unfortunately several issues that accompany the use of the therapy. Arguably the most significant issue among these is the prevalence of adverse drug reactions (ADR) and the failure of the drug to suppress viral load. The field of pharmacogenomics attempts to discover the exact genetic variants which predict success, failure or ADR in response to treatment. There have been successes in identifying genetic polymorphisms which explain large proportions of variance in drug response. Personalized medicine is a high priority for the future of health care. The idea of tailoring an individual’s wellness plan to their unique genetic code is one which we hope to realize through the use of pharmacogenomics. Here in UAE, Medical Art Solutions collect the patients required sample and provide a comprehensive report of a life time gene profile for an individual patient. Continuous, focused and concerted efforts of Scientists, Geneticists, Physicians, Pharmacists & Nurses employing multidisciplinary approaches to attack HIV, might enable achieving a health care professionals mission of “zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths”.

Published: 05 May 2017