According to the Rockefeller University researchers, a new generation of purported broadly neutralizing antibodies can dramatically reduce the number of virus in a patient’s blood, in a study conducted to HIV patients. Published in the Nature journal, the results have pointed to the opening of doors in the study of immunotherapy and suggest new strategies for preventing and fighting of fatal HIV infection.
An ongoing battle ensues in the body of a HIV positive patient, between their immune system and the virus. The antibodies produced, precisely, to hone in and kill the virus cannot stop its spread, as the HIV is in constant mutation to stay one step ahead.
However, the administration of a new generation of broad neutralizing antibodies, that potently combat an extensive range of HIV strains, 3BNC117, can catch off guard the virus and reduce its loads. HIV antibodies which were previously tested in humans were not successful, until now.
Johannes Scheid, originally, isolated the HIV in the Nussenzweig laboratory, which targets the CD4 binding site of the HIV packet, the prime site of HIV attachment to the host cells.
During these HIV patient trials, out of 237 HIV strains, 195 showed activity.
Unbelievably, broad neutralizing antibodies like 3BNC117 are naturally produced in some 10 to 30 % of the people with HIV, but only a number of years of infection. By that duration, the virus has evolved so much that it has enabled to escape these potent antibodies.
Researchers were able to isolate and replicate these antibodies so they can be utilized as therapeutic agents against HIV infections. Although, this is has been the first time it has been validated in human patients.
At the highest level dosage of 30 milligrams per kilogram of weight, all of the individuals infected and treated, showed up to 300 percent decrease, in the measured amount of virus in their blood, thereby raising hope, that an HIV vaccine may be in the vicinity of the immediate future.
At a time when antibiotic resistance has become a global problem, it was significantly observed by researchers that 50 percent of the patients receiving the highest dose, viral loads remained below starting levels, resistance to 3BNC117 did not occur, even at the end of the 8-week study period.