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Scientists use duoCAR-T therapy to fight HIV

Published on 09/08/19 at 10:37am

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, working with the biotech Lentigen, have found that an advanced form of CAR-T therapy is effective against HIV in human mouse models.

According to a paper published in the journal Science Translation Medicine, the scientists were able to use ‘duoCAR-T cells’, which use two CAR molecules, to supress HIV.  

The researchers found that the duoCAR-T cells were able to control HIV in mice and believe that the therapy may one day be used to eradicate HIV in humans in raiding the reservoirs of dormant infected immune cells that cannot be targeted using traditional antiretroviral drugs.

Previously, when researchers have tested CAR-T therapies against HIV, they have found the CAR-T cells themselves become infected with virus.

However, in doubling up on the chimeric antigen receptor molecules, the duoCAR-T cells were able to effectively fight HIV. The therapy eliminated 99% of infected immune cells in vitro and 97% of cells in mice. The duoCAR-T cells were also resistant to being infected with HIV.

Now, clinical trials aimed at testing the safety and effectiveness of the approach are scheduled for next Spring.

Louis Goss

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