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Gilead investigational data gives hope for HIV eradication in humans

Published on 05/03/18 at 12:26pm

Gilead has lifted the curtain on new preclinical data on the efficacy of a combo therapy of GS-9620, its investigational oral toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) agonist, and the broadly neutralising antibody (bNAb) PGT121, in the eradication of HIV in non-human primates.

In the study, which was conducted in collaboration with researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 44 rhesus monkeys infected with simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) were put on suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART) at day seven post-infection, and after 96 weeks of continuous treatment, were separated into four equal groups. These four groups received either 5 doses of PGT121, 10 doses of GS-9620, both therapies, or placebo, receiving ART throughout the treatment period and for 16 weeks afterward, discontinued at week 130.

At this point, it was found that all 11 animals receiving placebo experienced viral rebound with a median time of 21 days, while nine and ten of the total 11 receiving PGT121 or GS-9620 respectively also experienced viral rebound. By contrast, only five of the total 11 receiving both therapies experienced no viral rebound for at least 168 days, while the remaining six rebounded but then began suppressing the virus without ART.

Gilead said the data “support further clinical investigation of combination strategies involving bNAbs and a TLR7 agonist which may have the potential to achieve long-term viral suppression without the need for daily ART”, and now intends to advance testing into human trials.

“We remain committed to researching and developing HIV eradication strategies, and we are encouraged by these data presented at CROI from a preclinical animal model of HIV infection showing that the combination of GS-9620 and PGT121 may potentially induce viral remission in the absence of ART,” explained Dr Norbert W Bishofberger, Gilead’s Executive Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer. “GS-9620 is currently in a Phase 1b dose-escalation study in ART-suppressed people living with HIV and we have advanced GS-9722, a derivative of PGT121, into Phase 1 testing.”

Matt Fellows

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