Sangamo BioSciences demonstrates its ZFP treatment protects cells from HIV infection
Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: SGMO) today announced that data from its program to develop a ZFP Therapeutic(TM) for HIV/AIDS were presented at the 45th Annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) in Washington, DC. The study represents the first demonstration that cells can be made resistant to HIV infection by treatment with Sangamos proprietary zinc finger DNA-binding protein nucleases (ZFNTM) designed to specifically disrupt the CCR5 gene.
In its anti-HIV preclinical research program, Sangamo has designed ZFNs that can be used to disrupt the CCR5 gene, a receptor required for HIV entry into immune cells. The researchers found that ZFN-modified cells were resistant to HIV infection whereas control cells were infected when challenged with the virus. Furthermore, when CCR5 expression was experimentally restored in the ZFN-modified cells, HIV was once again able to infect these cells. Sangamo has shown disruption of the CCR5 gene in a number of different cell types including T-cells, the target cell for this therapeutic approach.
"CCR5 is an important target in the fight against HIV/AIDS," stated Edward Lanphier, Sangamos president and CEO. "Individuals with a natural mutation of their CCR5 gene have been shown to be resistant to HIV infection. Several major pharmaceutical companies have initiated programs to develop small molecule drugs to block HIV binding to CCR5, but in recent months two trials have been halted, one due to reports of liver toxicity of the candidate drug. We believe that using ZFNs to permanently modify the CCR5 gene specifically in T-cells and thus directly block the expression of the protein on the surface of these cells may have several advantages over the systemic effects of other drugs in development."
Small molecule or antibody approaches require the constant presence of antagonist in high enough concentrations to block therapeutically relevant numbers of the CCR5 protein, of which there are approximately 10,000 copies on the surface of each T-cell. In contrast, brief exposure of T-cells to Sangamos ZFNs has been shown to result in permanent modification of the CCR5 gene and consequent alteration of the CCR5 protein.
"We believe that the data presented at ICAAC provide another important validation of our novel approach to HIV," said Dale Ando, M.D., Sangamos vice president of therapeutic development and chief medical officer. "By administering ZFNs to patients, we could potentially provide HIV-infected individuals with a reservoir of healthy and uninfectable T-cells that would be available to fight both opportunistic infections and HIV itself. In this program, we have been working in close collaboration with Dr. Carl June at the University of Pennsylvania with the goal of initiating a Phase 1 clinical trial to test our ZFP Therapeutic in 2006."
Dr. Carl June, Director of Translational Research at the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, is a leader in the field of research testing T-cell therapies for cancer and HIV infection. Dr. June stated, "After the recent negative news regarding trials with pharmacologic blockade of CCR5, it is very important that we focus on positive results involving this well-validated disease target. I am encouraged by Sangamos findings and look forward to collaborating with the Company further to bring this promising approach into the clinic."
Justin Jackson | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...