Saving Millions of Lives, Long After His Passing
Early treatments of the AIDS virus caused debilitating side-effects in patients. In the mid-1980s the need for an alternative that was easier on patients’ bodies was urgent, and McGill University chemistry professor Dr. Bernard Belleau, along with his colleagues Francesco Bellini and Gervais Dionne, were hard at work on one. Not long before Dr. Belleau’s death in 1989, the team developed 3TC or Lamivudine, which has since been credited with saving the lives of some 2 million people worldwide. Today, the World Health Organization lists Lamivudine among its Essential Medicines.