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 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,000+ 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
Mass Spec Technology Drives Innovation Across the Biopharma Workflow
With greater resolving power, analytical speed, and accuracy, new mass spectrometry technology and techniques are infiltrating the biopharmaceuticals workflow.
Biomolecular Manufacturing ‘On-the-Go’
Wyss Institute team unveils a low-cost, portable method to manufacture biomolecules for a wide range of vaccines, other therapies as well as diagnostics.
Molecular Switch Aids Immune Therapy
Researchers identify strategy to maximise effectiveness of immune therapy through molecular switch controlling immune suppression.
Novavax RSV F Vaccine Fails Phase 3 Trial
Novavax announces topline RSV F Vaccine data from two clinical trials in older adults.
GSK’s Shingles Vaccine Candidate Shows High Efficacy
The vaccine candidate showed high efficacy against shingles and its complications in adults aged 70yrs+ in phase III study.
Eisai Establishes AiM Institute
The Andover innovative Medicines (AiM) Institute will develop innovative precision medicines for hard-to-treat conditions.
Antibodies that Target Holes in HIV's Defence Identified
Scientists suggest 'holes' in HIV sugar sheild can be targeted by antibodies.
Discovery Could Yield Improved Flu Vaccines
Researchers have discovered a type of immune antibody that can evolve to combat a number of infuenza virus strains.
First Accurate Simulation of a Virus Invading a Cell
For the first time, scientists know what happens to a virus’ shape when it invades a host cell.Understanding how the virus shape specifically changes could lead to more effective anti-viral therapies.
Developing a Vaccine for Sexually Transmitted and Insect-Borne Zika Infections
Prokarium announce the beginning of a programme to develop an oral vaccine against Zika infection.
Skyscraper Banner

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
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!