In a fraction of HIV-infected patients, so-called controllers, the immune system neutralizes the virus by producing certain antibodies. These patients can go for a long time period without developing AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). An experimental approach to find a vaccine that protects against the virus is the isolation of antibodies from these patients. One of these antibodies, 3BNC117, has now been tested in a first human trial, and the results seem promising.
The study led by Michel Nussenzweig, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University, New York, USA, included 12 uninfected and 17 HIV-infected individuals. They received a single infusion of 3BNC117 in four different concentrations. Subsequent monitoring of the participants showed a significant reduction of viral load in HIV-infected individuals. The effect was most substantial in patients treated with the highest dosage. The test also showed that the antibody was safe and well tolerated in humans.
Antibodies such as 3BNC117 could be used for the prevention and therapy of HIV-infections, although the researchers suggest that a combination of several antibodies may be most effective.
- Viraemia suppressed in HIV-1-infected humans by broadly neutralizing antibody 3BNC117,
Marina Caskey, Florian Klein, Julio C. C. Lorenzi, Michael S. Seaman, Anthony P. West, Noreen Buckley, Gisela Kremer, Lilian Nogueira, Malte Braunschweig, Johannes F. Scheid, Joshua A. Horwitz, Irina Shimeliovich, Sivan Ben-Avraham, Maggi Witmer-Pack, Martin Platten, Clara Lehmann, Leah A. Burke, Thomas Hawthorne, Robert J. Gorelick, Bruce D. Walker, Tibor Keler, Roy M. Gulick, Gerd Fätkenheuer, Sarah J. Schlesinger, Michel C. Nussenzweig,