SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

ExeGi Pharma collaborates with NIH to study HIV and probiotic Visbiome

ExeGi Pharma collaborates with NIH to study HIV and probiotic | Courtesy of sciencedaily.com
ExeGi Pharma recently announced that it has partnered with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a branch of the National Institute of Health (NIH), to study the probiotic known as Visbiome in patients who have HIV.

During the beginning of HIV infections, the body’s gastrointestinal tract is impacted in its microbiome as well as its immune function. These elements in the body are not able to normalize even after patients receive antiretroviral therapy (ART) treatments for several years.

The study, which received funding from the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG), was conducted to determine the tolerability, safety and impact of probiotics on the body’s gut microbiome as well as its immune activation markers specifically in patients who have HIV. These patients were required to also be partakers of suppressive ART. For the study, the scientists evaluated with the intestinal microbial environment could be changed to impact the progression of HIV infections.

"We are pleased to support this research effort by the NIH/NIAID and the ACTG," Marc Tewey, CEO of ExeGi, said. "The probiotic formulation that makes up Visbiome has been extensively studied in numerous gastrointestinal disorders, and this investigation of its potential impact for people living with HIV reflects our growing scientific understanding of the relationship between the gut microbiome and human health."

The study is an extension of previous studies done on HIV.

"This study builds on previous research in which the immune defects of HIV are related to effects of the virus on the lymphoid tissue in the gastrointestinal tract and the subsequent alterations in the intestinal microbiome," Adriana Andrade, associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital, said.