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TheBody.com/TheBodyPRO.com covers The 52nd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC 2012)
  

Zinc Finger Gene Therapy Continues to Show Promise

November/December 2012

For HIV-positive individuals on HAART with low CD4 T-cell counts (immune nonresponders), there are limited therapeutic options. CCR5 is one of the major co-receptors on CD4 cells which HIV uses to enter. Zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) technology modifies the CCR5 gene on CD4 T-cells from the patient's own body in an effort to increase them while creating cells that are resistant to HIV. The "byproduct" of this process is called SB-728-T.

Data presented from a small phase 1 study suggest that this approach to HIV therapy offers the hope of providing a persistent source of CD4 T-cells that are resistant to HIV infection.

The technique, developed by Sangamo Biosciences, uses a process called apheresis to collect T-cells from the patient's blood. The ZFN is then used to interfere with CCR5 gene expression, and the altered SB-728 T-cells multiply and are infused back into the individual.

SB-728-T was safe and well tolerated with minor reversible infusion-related symptoms, and resulted in significant increases in CD4 T-cells averaging 233 cells/mm3 at 14 days, and 93 cells/mm3 at 12 months. The authors concluded that the preliminary data suggest that SB-728-T provides "sustained improvement in the CD4 compartment and has the potential to reconstitute the immune system." Phase 1 and 2 studies are moving forward.


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Visit Positively Aware's website to find out more about the publication.
 


Reader Comments:

Comment by: John (Manchester, UK) Fri., Nov. 16, 2012 at 1:50 pm EST
Sounds good! Please, people, turn it into a cure, as quickly as possible! I don't know how long I can carry on as things are here with me.
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Please note: Knowledge about HIV changes rapidly. Note the date of this summary's publication, and before treating patients or employing any therapies described in these materials, verify all information independently. If you are a patient, please consult a doctor or other medical professional before acting on any of the information presented in this summary. For a complete listing of our most recent conference coverage, click here.

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