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
One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg
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)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Information Technology