The death of Jean Dormon, the pioneer of AIDS control

Professor Jan Dormon, died on the 1stis being February At the age of 91 years old, he had an impressive career as a Doctor and Researcher at Assistance publique-Hôpitaux de Paris and Inserm. At the beginning of the 1960s, Jan Dormon, a close collaborator of Jan Hamburger, participated in the first kidney transplants performed at Necker Hospital. By driving clinical activity with patients and basic laboratory research simultaneously, he made a critical contribution to the use of immunosuppressive drugs that enabled the first lasting successes of these transplants.

In 1970, he was appointed Head of the Department of Internal Medicine at the Antoine Beclair Hospital in Clamart (Hauts-de-Seine) and Director of the Inserm U131 Unit “Nephrology and Immunology”. After becoming dean of the Faculty of Medicine in Paris Sud, in 1987, he will work on HIV research at the new National Agency for Research on AIDS and Viral Hepatitis (ANRS).

Two major experiences in the history of HIV

Philippe Lazar, General Manager of Inserm, and Jean-Paul Levy, Director of ANRS, appointed him as coordinator of the agency’s clinical trials. Its role is to bring together French teams conducting clinical trials in order to coordinate and accelerate the search for treatments. Then he went to the United States. “I knew the potential of the Americans, but I was far from imagining what they had actually created: a huge organization established at the heart of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in Bethesda, to study potential active molecules.”He said at the end of 2019.

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Inspired by this model, Professor Dormont is working to make clinical trials a priority for ANRS. We owe him two major successes that continue to exist today and have inspired other institutions: careful control of the quality of treatment trials and their joint building with patient associations. This is how the first large-scale experiment, Concorde, was launched in 1988 under the auspices of ANRS and the British Medical Research Council. His goal was to determine the stage of disease at which people with HIV should start zidovudine (or AZT).

It will be followed by the ANRS 024 “ACTG 076” trial which, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, aims to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV with AZT. These two major experiences in the history of HIV are the first in a long series that he will accompany until 2002, when he leaves the agency. “The ANRS was the only public body in France, at that time, to significantly support clinical trials and patient groups requiring the recruitment of thousands of volunteers.” Mention.

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