Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Biologics & Bioprocessing
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

UK Scientists to Begin Trial of Potential HIV Cure

Published: Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Scientists and clinicians from five leading UK universities will begin a groundbreaking clinical trial next year to test a possible cure for HIV infection.

The researchers, led by Dr John Frater at Oxford University and Dr Sarah Fidler at Imperial College London, hope the trial will show that a cure is feasible.

'We can only truly know if someone is cured of HIV if we stop giving them antiretroviral therapy,' said Dr Frater of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine at Oxford University. 'We're not going to do that, but we will test if we can reduce the number of HIV-infected cells in these patients. If we can, it will prove in principle that this strategy could work as a cure, even though it will need many more years of further development.'

Efforts to cure HIV in the past have been thwarted by the virus's ability to lie dormant inside blood cells without being detected.

Thirty-four million people are infected by HIV worldwide. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is highly effective at stopping the virus from reproducing, but it doesn't eradicate the disease, so it has to be taken for life.

The new therapy combines standard antiretroviral drugs with two new weapons: a drug that reactivates dormant HIV, and a vaccine that induces the immune system to destroy the infected cells.

Fifty patients in the early stages of HIV infection will take part in the trial. The researchers hope that within months, the stores of hidden HIV in these patients – called the HIV reservoir – will be significantly reduced. They expect to know the results in 2017.

The trial is being conducted by the CHERUB collaboration – an alliance of HIV researchers at Oxford University, Imperial College London, the University of Cambridge, University College London and King's College London. It is being funded by a £1.7 million grant from the Medical Research Council as part of the Biomedical Catalyst funding stream.

Key preliminary studies by the CHERUB researchers that laid the groundwork for the trial were supported by National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centres based at the five universities and their NHS Trust partners.

HIV carries its genetic code in RNA, a molecule related to DNA, but as part of its lifecycle it copies the code into DNA and merges it with the DNA of human cells it has infected. In some cells this DNA remains dormant enabling it to stay hidden from the immune system and resist therapy.

Drugs called HDAC inhibitors, which are used as cancer treatments, have been shown to reactivate dormant HIV in the laboratory.

One group of patients in the trial will be given a short course of HDAC inhibitors and an HIV vaccine alongside ART. Another group will get ART with placebos.

As part of the study the research team are developing an improved method for detecting latency, which has been one of the difficulties in measuring the success of therapeutic approaches such as this.

'We know that targeting the HIV reservoir is extremely difficult,' said Dr Fidler of Imperial College London, 'but our research in the labs has led to some very promising results. We now have the opportunity to translate that into a possible new treatment, which we hope will be of real benefit to patients.'


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,400+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
Understanding Female HIV Transmission
Glowing virus maps points of entry through entire female reproductive tract for first time.
Soy Shows Promise as Natural Anti-Microbial Agent
Soy isoflavones and peptides may inhibit the growth of microbial pathogens that cause food-borne illnesses, according to a new study from University of Guelph researchers.
Designing Better Drugs
A rational drug engineering approach could breathe new life into drug development.
AstraZeneca to Sequence 2 Million Genomes in Search for New Drugs
Company launches integrated genomics approach which aims to transform drug discovery and development.
Factors Influencing Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Uncovered
The long-held approach to predicting seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness may need to be revisited, new research suggests.
Study Finds Factors That May Influence Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness
Researchers at NIH have suggested that the long-held approach to predicting seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness may need to be revisited.
New Model to Enhance Zika Virus Research
The model will allow researchers to better understand how the virus causes disease and aid in the development of antiviral compounds and vaccines.
Improving Flu Vaccine Effectiveness
NIH study finds factors that may influence influenza vaccine effectiveness.
BMS’s Opdivo Clinical Trial Shows Promise
Safety profile of the combination regimen from CheckMate -069 was consistent with previously reported studies and adverse events were managed using established safety algorithms.
CNS Inflammation: A Pathway and Possible Drug Target
Scientists have long known that the central nervous system (CNS) has a remarkable ability to limit excessive inflammation in the presence of antigens or injury, but how it works has been unclear.
SELECTBIO

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,400+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!