Rockefeller's first human HIV antibody therapy study shows hopeful results

First human HIV antibody therapy study shows hopeful results | Courtesy of
Rockefeller University researchers recently released the results of their HIV antibody therapy study, which was the first to involve human subjects.

The results show that the broadly neutralizing antibodies may radically reduce virus quantity in the patient’s bloodstream. People with HIV infections experience ongoing struggles between their body’s natural immune response and the virus. As quickly as the human body creates fresh antibodies to fight HIV, the virus just as quickly mutates and escapes immune detection.

The study shows that administering an especially potent antibody named 3BNC117 detects and destroys HIV before the virus has a chance to mutate again. This reduces the quantity of HIV cells in the patient’s bloodstream.

“What’s special about these antibodies is that they have activity against over 80 percent of HIV strains and they are extremely potent," Nussenzweig Lab assistant professor and study co-author Marina Caskey said. “One antibody alone, like one drug alone, will not be sufficient to suppress viral load for a long time because resistance will arise."

Professionals involved in HIV infection prevention or treatments have renewed optimism as a result of this study.

“In contrast to conventional antiretroviral therapy, antibody-mediated therapy can also engage the patient’s immune cells, which can help to better neutralize the virus,” Nussenzweig Lab assistant professor and study co-author Florian Klein said.

More details are available in the journal Nature.

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Rockefeller University 1230 York Ave New York, NY - 10065

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