Medical faculty of the Dresden Technical University (TUD) and the Heinrich Pette Institute's (HPI) Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology have developed a new recombinase, Brec1, to make a therapy for HIV infections.
The study, which is available in Nature Biotechnology journal, uses a directed molecular evolution to create Brec1. The recombinase is able to precisely maneuver in the body to eliminate the provirus within the human cells.
This is the first time that the method has worked directly with cells isolating in patients who have HIV-1 infections. It proved successful even without seeing measurable genotoxic or cytotoxic side effects.
"The generation of molecular scalpels, such as the Brec1 recombinase, will change medical practice,” Frank Buchholz, head of the TUD group, said. “Not only will HIV patients likely benefit from this development, but also many other patients with genetically caused diseases. We are about to witness the beginning of the genome-surgery era.”
Despite major progress in HIV treatments, there isn't a cure for the illness. Thirty-seven million people around the world have HIV infections, and each year over 2 million people are newly infected.