Data on SEEK’s Novel Immunotherapy for HIV Published in Virology Journal
SEEK, a privately-owned UK drug discovery group, announces that pre-clinical results on its HIV immunotherapy have been published in the peer-reviewed journal Virology Journal.
SEEK’s HIV immunotherapy triggers the immune system’s cellular and antibody responses to selectively identify and kill HIV infected cells. The most exciting aspect of this therapy is that it directs the immune system towards short highly conserved regions of proteins produced by most circulating HIV strains. The triggered immune responses are highly effective both independently and in combination.
This opens up developing the antibody response into a monoclonal based therapy for treating HIV.
Monoclonal antibodies have revolutionised the treatment of cancer by improving outcomes and survival. In HIV/AIDS there is new interest in these products, as shown by the recent work of Duke University (USA) in developing a monoclonal antibody that prevents the virus from infecting cells. A monoclonal antibody capable of killing HIV-infected cells (potentially curative effect) would represent a radical new development in HIV therapy, which to this day relies on slowing down the virus rate of growth rather than in killing the cells that harbour it.
By targeting a HIV component that is found only in infected cells and never in healthy cells, such monoclonal antibody therapy offers the potential of high specificity, reduced frequency of administration and minimal side-effects. This would represent a significant improvement over current anti-HIV drugs which require daily treatment and are associated with significant side effects.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Gregory Stoloff, CEO of SEEK Group, said: “It is very exciting to be at the forefront of this new approach which opens up HIV therapy to established and available antibody technology.”
In July 2011, SEEK announced the results of a Phase Ib/II study in humans which demonstrated that HIV immunotherapy showed a one log(approx 90 percent) difference in viral count in HIV-infected people compared with the placebo group, after just a single administration.
“Synthetic immunotherapy induces HIV virus specific Th1 cytotoxic response and death of an HIV-1 infected human cell line through classic complement activation”, Olga Pleguezuelos, Gregory A Stoloff and Wilson Caparros-Wanderley.
Virology Journal 2013, 10:107 doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-107