Clinical Trial Uncovers Potential ‘Functional Cure’ For Hiv/Aids
Posted Oct 04 2011 7:04pm
Data from a clinical trial involving UCLA researchers suggest that a new therapy may potentially serve as a “functional cure” for HIV/AIDS.
The therapy, called SB-728-T, involves the modification of both copies of a patient’s CCR5 gene, which encodes the major co-receptor used by HIV to infect immune system cells.
In the Sangamo BioSciences’ phase 1 trial, SB-728-T was given to HIV patients who were on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) but were considered to be “non-responders” — that is, their CD4+ T-cell levels, a key measure of immune system health, remained low. The patients’ HAART therapy was interrupted when they received the SB-728-T therapy.
The researchers found a statistically significant relationship between the suppression of HIV viral load and the level of circulating CD4+ T-cells that had undergone the CCR5 gene modification in patients treated with SB-728-T.