Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
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 3,100+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,500+ 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.

Related Content

Proteins in their Natural Habitat
Proteins which reside in the membrane of cells play a key role in many biological processes and provide targets for more than half of current drug treatments.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Scientific News
The Rise of 3D Cell Culture and in vitro Model Systems for Drug Discovery and Toxicology
An overview of the current technology and the challenges and benefits over 2D cell culture models plus some of the latest advances relating to human health research.
Grant Supports Project To Develop Simple Test To Screen For Cervical Cancer
UCLA Engineering announces funding from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Injecting New Life into Old Antibiotics
A new fully synthetic way to make a class of antibiotics called macrolides from simple building blocks is set to open up a new front in the fight against antimicrobial drug resistance.
Insight into Bacterial Resilience and Antibiotic Targets
Variant of CRISPR technology paired with computerized imaging reveals essential gene networks in bacteria.
Advancing Protein Visualization
Cryo-EM methods can determine structures of small proteins bound to potential drug candidates.
Alzheimer’s Protein Serves as Natural Antibiotic
Alzheimer's-associated amyloid plaques may be part of natural process to trap microbes, findings suggest new therapeutic strategies.
Slime Mold Reveals Clues to Immune Cells’ Directional Abilities
Study from UC San Diego identifies a protein involved in the directional ability of a slime mold.
How Do You Kill A Malaria Parasite?
Drexel University scientists have discovered an unusual mechanism for how two new antimalarial drugs operate: They give the parasite’s skin a boost in cholesterol, making it unable to traverse the narrow labyrinths of the human bloodstream. The drugs also seem to trick the parasite into reproducing prematurely.
Illuminating Hidden Gene Regulators
New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters.
Supressing Intenstinal Analphylaxis in Peanut Allergy
Study from National Jewish Health shows that blockade of histamine receptors suppresses intestinal anaphylaxis in peanut allergy.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
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
3,100+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,500+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!