30 years after HIV was discovered to be the cause of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), and despite intensive research, no vaccine or cure has yet been found.
An international team of scientists, in collaboration with the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) and the University Hospital of Cologne, has now tested a new generation of antibodies in humans for the first time. They have demonstrated that these broadly neutralising antibodies significantly reduce the number of human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) in infected patients’ blood. The results have been published in the renowned journal Nature.
Today, HIV infections can be well controlled with a combination of different antiviral drugs. However, the drugs can cause some severe side effects, are expensive and have to be taken over a lifetime. Additionally, resistance can develop, which challenges individual treatment. “This is why we still need new treatment options,” explains Cologne infectious diseases specialist Prof Gerd Fätkenheuer, who is researching new ways of treating and preventing AIDS at the German Center for Infection Research.
In the trial, published today in Nature, doctors from the University Hospital of Cologne together with researchers of Michel Nussenzweig’s Laboratory from Rockefeller University in New York (USA) investigated a new treatment approach. For the first time, the scientists conducted human trials with an antibody (3BNC117), which was developed previously in Nussenzweig laboratory.
The special thing about this antibody is its ability to neutralise a large number of different human immunodeficiency viruses effectively. In the trial, which was co-funded by the DZIF, the antibody showed good tolerability and favourable pharmacological properties.
Furthermore, patients undergoing treatment at the highest dose level (30 mg per kg of bodyweight) showed a significant drop in viral load. “With this, the antibody has a potency comparable to the drugs we are currently using for treatment,” Fätkenheuer explains. The treatment effects could be observed for up to 28 days after administration of the antibodies.
The trial consequently opens up a new field in HIV treatment. Co-First Author Prof Florian Klein, who will soon be changing from the Rockefeller University to the University Hospital of Cologne, sees particular potential in the mechanism of action of broadly neutralising antibodies: “Neutralising antibodies have a different mechanism of action and different pharmacological properties compared to the HIV drugs that have been used up to now.”
According to the scientists, “Neutralising antibodies could play an important role in HIV treatment and HIV prevention.” Plans for clinical trials investigating the efficacy of broadly neutralising antibodies with regard to curing HIV are currently underway.
Caskey, M.*; Klein, F.*(*Co-First Authors); Lorenzi, J.C.C.; Seaman, M.S.; West, A.P., Jr, Buckley, N.; Kremer, G.; Nogueira, L.; Braunschweig, M.; Scheid, J.F.; Horwitz, J. A.; Shimeliovich, I.; Avraham-Shulman, S.B.; Witmer-Pack, M.; Platten, M., Lehmann, C.; Burke, L.A.; Hawthorne, T.; Gorelick, R.J.; Walker, B.D.; Keler, T.; Gulick, R.M., Fätkenheuer, G.; Schlesinger, S.J.; Nussenzweig, M.C.:
Viraemia suppressed in HIV-1-infected humans by broadly neutralizing antibody 3BNC117
Nature, online first released on April 08 (2015)
Prof Gerd Fätkenheuer
Prof Florian Klein
T +12123278367 /Mobile +17182900235
DZIF Press Office
Karola Neubert and Janna Schmidt
Press Office University Hospital of Cologne
Karola Neubert | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University
The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy