VCU leads research to improve access to AIDS drugs

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Commonwealth University is leading a research effort to improve access to AIDS drugs.

Officials say a $4.4 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates is giving the Richmond school and other research universities an opportunity to supply developing countries with affordable access to AIDS drugs.

The collaboration, known as the Medicine for All Initiative, includes specialists from the University of Washington, Florida State University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The team will focus on cost improvements for the drug nevirapine. The World Health Organization considers nevirapine a first-line therapy for the treatment of AIDS.

Officials say the project will help develop new synthetic and manufacturing methods, providing necessary health care to those in need.

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