Tuesday, 20 September 2011

HIV treatment

Sangamo Biosciences Inc. found that their gene therapy successfully reduced HIV infection and even abolished the virus completely in a patient who had genetic mutation, under an early stage trail.

SB-728-T gene therapy was tested under the trail. This therapy aimed at disrupting the CCR5 gene, responsible for infection to spread to immune system cells.

The success of this therapy could end up the use of traditional antiretroviral drugs that suppresses multiplication of infected cells in the blood.

Trail investigator, Dr. Carl June from University of Pennsylvania said, “The findings of the trail provided a better explanation of the relationship between proposed changes in the viral load and CCR5 gene.”

June mentioned that their results suggest introduction of large amount of genetically engineered cells in patients with HIV-infection for AIDS cure but the how this can be achieved is not clear.

At the start of the study, 10 patients were on antiretroviral therapy. Right after 4 weeks, six of them discontinued the antiviral medication for twelve weeks.

3 of the 6 subjects had decreased viral load, with one subject’s viral load dropped to untraceable levels. It was observed that the patient had a mutated copy of CCR5 gene.

Lanphier said Sangamo will be focusing on modifying maximum number of cells with SB-728-T either by targeting only a small part of mutated CCR5 genes in patients or using strategies that maximize number of modified cells.

“We have more than enough capital to invest for Phase 2 trials,” he said.Posted by Timsy Rosalina on Monday, September 19, 2011 at 4:

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