SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2018

Romidepsin shown to reverse HIV latency in some patients

Romidepsin may reverse HIV latency in long-term ART patients
Romidepsin may reverse HIV latency in long-term ART patients | Courtesy of
Recent clinical trials found a histone deacetylases (HDAC) inhibitor can be used to eliminate latent HIV virus from its reservoirs throughout the body.

HIV latency uses activity of proteins, called HDAC, found within the human host. Earlier research demonstrates that HDAC inhibitors can interrupt HIV latency to eliminate the virus. Now, scientists are determining whether this new strategy can be used to eradicate HIV from the human body.

HDACi may be the latency reversal component that can purge patients’ HIV reservoirs with a “kick and kill approach,” Ole Søgaard, from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, said.

The scientists used a single HDACi named romidepsin and evaluated whether the drug had clinical potential and safety for eliminating and reversing HIV latency with patients who took long-term antiretroviral therapy (ART). The treatment also helps T cells, which may help to boost the immune system and further eliminate latent HIV infections.

The trial included six Caucasian participants and the subjects’ median age amounted to 56 years. Their median time using ART treatments amounted to 10 years.

The researchers administered each of them with one romidepsin infusion each week for three weeks in a row. They were observed for several weeks after their treatments ended. All of them reported side effects, most of them being mild.

Further details are available in PLOS Pathogens.

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