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Abivax drug lowers HIV DNA in blood and tissue, but has the opposite effect for some

Published on 04/07/18 at 11:23am

Biotechnology firm Abivax has lifted the curtain on new Phase 2a data for its HIV therapy ABX464, showing that the drug was able to reduce levels of the virus’ DNA in blood and rectal tissue.

The study was split into two cohorts. In the first, eight out nine total participants saw reductions of up to 52% in HIV DNA levels in peripheral blood CD4+ T cells after 28 days of receiving a 150mg dose of the drug.

In the second, 12 patients were administered a 50mg dose daily over three months; it was found that four of these participants saw their HIV DNA levels fall, with reductions ranging from 2% to 85%. However, a further four patients saw an increase in their levels, ranging between 5% and 36%.

The study also marked the first time that data could be derived from rectal tissue biopsies; in CD45+ T cells from such tissue, four patients saw their HIV DNA levels reduced by between 16% and 71%. However, four patients also saw these levels increase by between 14% and 123%.

“These findings show, for the first time, that ABX464 has the ability to reduce HIV DNA in both blood and rectal tissue reservoirs,” said Dr Jean-Marc Steens, Chief Medical Officer at Abivax. “The longer 12 week duration of treatment with ABX464 was safe and generally well tolerated and supports extended dosing.”

Ian McGowan, Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Chair of ABIVAX’s Scientific Advisory Board, added: “The data from the second cohort of patients in the ABX464-005 study are both important and encouraging. The study results demonstrate that some HIV-infected patients receiving 50mg of ABX464 had a relevant drop in the HIV DNA reservoir. Further studies will identify the characteristics of the patients most likely to benefit from ABX464 in different dosing regimens, alone or in combination with other HIV cure strategies.”

Abivax now plans to push these results further in a Phase 2b trial, and will present them in full at an upcoming research meeting.

Matt Fellows

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