God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

Sangamo’s Possible ‘Functional Cure’ Gene Therapy

AIDSmeds reports that Sangamo BioSciences has begun new clinical studies of its promising gene therapy SB-728-T, a potential “functional cure” for HIV infection, according to a January 9 announcement by the company.  SB-728-T is a zinc finger DNA-binding protein transcription factor (ZFP TF). It disrupts the gene responsible for making CCR5 co-receptors on the surface of CD4 cells, to which HIV bonds. When CD4 cells can’t produce functional co-receptors, it is much harder for HIV to infect them.  The aim of SB-728-T therapy is to grow a new population of CD4 cells that are resistant to HIV infection, and thus make antiretroviral (ARV) therapy unnecessary. The rationale for using SB-728-T comes from the case of Timothy Brown, an HIV-positive man with leukemia who received two stem cell transplants from a donor who inherited two mutated CCR5 genes (CCR5 delta32), from his father and mother, and was genetically unable to produce CD4 cells that carry functional CCR5 co-receptors. Such individuals rarely become infected with HIV. And in cases where only one mutated CCR5 gene is inherited, HIV infection can occur, but the disease tends to progress slowly.  In Brown’s case, not only did the stem cell therapy cure his cancer, but it also appears to have cured his HIV infection. All efforts to locate HIV in the man’s body have been unsuccessful.

Sangamo is hoping that treating a person’s own stem cells with SB-728-T and then reinfusing them will, over time, replace HIV-susceptible cells with HIV-resistant CD4s and reduce the need for continuous antiretroviral therapy.

The whole story you find on AIDSmeds clicking the following link:


Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Treatment, Medical and Research, , , , , , , , , ,

POZ Magazine: Therapeutic Vaccine Achieves “Functional Cure” in Monkeys

Therapeutic Vaccine Achieves “Functional Cure” in Monkeys

The monkey version of a therapeutic vaccine by VIRxSYS Corporation achieved a “functional cure”—fully controlling simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) production and halting disease progression in a subset of vaccinated monkeys.
VIRxSYS has been pursuing gene therapy against HIV for several years, but it has been exploring a therapeutic vaccine as well. Its technology involves packaging HIV’s genetic material within a molecular delivery vehicle, commonly known as a vector. The company is using a lentivirus as the vector for its current vaccine, dubbed VRX1273.
As a step before human testing, VIRxSYS scientists gave a simian version of its VRX1273 vaccine or a placebo to several monkeys in their laboratory. After the monkeys were vaccinated, they were infected with a virulent strain of SIV. Gary McGarrity, PhD, executive vice president of scientific and clinical affairs at VIRxSYS, in Gaithersberg, Maryland, reported the results of this experiment at the AIDS Vaccine 2010 conference, which was held September 28 to October 1 in Atlanta.
Two of the five monkeys that received VRX1273 were able to maintain full control of SIV. In the placebo group, several of the monkeys died, providing evidence that VRX1273 both controls SIV reproduction in infected monkeys and provides a survival benefit.
“We and HIV key opinion leaders are very optimistic about these long-term results showing viral suppression, protection of the immune system and survival in this prophylactic study,” McGarrity said. “In addition, the full control of SIV replication following infection of two of our monkeys is a significant milestone in our research to develop effective therapeutic and prophylactic vaccines for HIV.”

Source:  http://www.poz.com/articles/hiv_virxsys_vaccine_761_19211.shtml

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Treatment, Medical and Research, Uncategorized, , ,

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