Zinc Finger Gene Therapy Continues to Show Promise
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.
Got a comment on this article? Write to us at email@example.com.
This article was provided by Positively Aware. It is a part of the publication Positively Aware. Visit Positively Aware's website to find out more about the publication.
Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read TheBody.com's Comment Policy.)