Next week brings us another Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), which is set to take place Feb. 13-26, 2017, in Seattle. CROI 2017 will highlight the latest, most important discoveries in HIV research and science.
We've looked over the program currently available on CROI's website, and here are some of the sessions and presentations worth looking forward to.
Cure and Remission Research
Cure research remains one of the more important fields of HIV study as we move closer to achieving HIV eradication or sustained treatment-free remission. At CROI, I'll be paying attention to three presentations:
- Visions of HIV Cure: This symposium will be convened by leading cure researcher Sharon Lewin, F.R.A.C.P., Ph.D., and will look at the mechanisms behind HIV persistence and potential ways to reduce the size of the viral reservoir. Of note, one of the presentations, Therapeutic Vaccination for HIV/SIV: What Will It Take for Cure?, will be given by cure researcher Louis J. Picker, M.D.
- Two Hundred Eighty-Eight-Day Drug-Free Remission From HIV Rebound by Allogeneic PBSCT (Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplant): This poster seems to be reporting another case of HIV remission after stem cell transplantation. It appears the remission lasted 288 days, which is a remarkably long time to control HIV without treatment. Hopefully, the study provides more clues to the mechanisms behind these sustained remissions and how to prolong them.
- TLR7 Agonist Treatment of SIV+ Monkeys on ART Can Lead to Complete Viral Remission: We continue to see promising results on using GS-9620, a toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) agonist, for sustained viral remission in monkey studies. James Whitney, Ph.D., will present his team's latest data.
New Options in HIV Treatment
Here are some of the sessions on the latest treatment research that I'm looking forward to:
- Discovery of Novel Potent HIV Capsid Inhibitors With Long-Acting Potential: Capsid inhibitors could be a new breakthrough in HIV treatment, or at least a new drug class providing another option for individuals with HIV. If they have long-acting qualities, that would be even better.
- Clinical Pharmacology of the HIV Integrase Strand Transfer Inhibitor Bictegravir: Bictegravir is a new integrase inhibitor being studied for HIV treatment. Last year, a 10-day monotherapy study found that bictegravir was effective and well tolerated.
- Randomized Trial of Bictegravir or Dolutegravir With FTC/TAF for Initial HIV Therapy: Paul E. Sax, M.D., will present the study results on using bictegravir or dolutegravir (Tivicay) with emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide (Descovy).
- Doravirine Is Non-Inferior to Darunavir/R in Phase-3 Treatment-Naive Trial at Week 48: Kathleen Squires, M.D., will present results on this study of doravirine, a new non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) currently being investigated.
- Long-Acting Ibalizumab in Patients With Multi-Drug Resistant HIV: A 24-Week Study: Ibalizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody, technically part of the entry inhibitor class, that showed strong antiretroviral activity in patients with multi-drug resistant HIV in a phase-3 study presented last fall. This late-breaking poster should provide more insight.
- Dolutegravir as Maintenance Monotherapy for HIV-1: A Randomized Clinical Trial: Another late-breaking poster that should be noteworthy, considering that monotherapy could be a viable future option for patients.
These are just some of the highlights to look forward to at CROI 2017. There are also noteworthy sessions on hepatitis C and HIV complications that I'll be keeping an eye on but did not included in this preview. Stay tuned for our full coverage starting next week.
Warren Tong is the senior science editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.
Follow Warren on Twitter: @WarrenAtTheBody.
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