Antibody Therapy Successfully Suppresses Infection in HIV Patients: Promise Antibody Tested – scinexx



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New hope for HIV patients: Researchers tested another antibody against HIV – with promising results. Thus, the active ingredient in the body of those affected successfully blocked the multiplication of the dangerous pathogens. Unlike the common antiviral drugs, they did not need to be administered daily, but only weekly or even every two weeks. In addition, the drug appears to be associated with a low risk of resistance, the team reports.

About 37 million people worldwide are infected with the AIDS pathogen – 90,000 of them in Germany. A remedy for deadly virus infection does not exist until now. But thanks to antiviral drugs, people affected today can lead a fairly normal life. In addition, it is increasingly evident that antibodies can also effectively keep HI viruses under control. For example, researchers have long been able to inhibit the pathogens with this therapy in rhesus monkeys.

Other promising results are being presented by scientists led by Chang Yi Wang of United Biopharma. They devoted themselves in their research the antibody UB-421. This drug blocks a protein in the human body that uses the HI virus to infect the T cells that are important for the immune system.

Deleted successfully

Because this works, the research team tested in a phase 2 study with 29 HIV patients. 14 of these subjects received the antibody weekly for a period of eight weeks. The other 15 were treated every two weeks for a total of 16 weeks, but each received higher infusion doses.

The result: Although participants stopped their antiviral drugs for the duration of the study, the viral load remained at a very low level. This means that the antibody has successfully suppressed the proliferation of AIDS pathogens. In addition, there were no indications of a possible development of resistance, as scientists report. This is explained by the fact that, unlike many other antibodies, UB-421 does not directly attack the virus.

More studies needed

Future studies will need to look more closely at antibody potential in the future: how effective UB-421 is compared to other approaches to treatment, and for how long can the effect of antibody therapy persist? Confirming the benefits and safety of the drug can mean significant relief for HIV patients.

On the one hand, constant intake of antiviral drugs may be accompanied by side effects such as chronic inflammation. On the other hand, these remedies usually have to be taken daily and strictly maintaining this therapeutic regimen is difficult for many people affected. Researchers are already working on combined pills that need to be taken less often. Even with the antibody therapy would suffice in the future, a weekly treatment or even more rare. (England Journal of Medicine, 2019; doi: 10.1056 / NEJMoa1802264)

Source: NIH / National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

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