Over the last years, a new generation of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) neutralizing antibodies
was identified. These antibodies are highly potent and are able to
effectively neutralize a large number of different HIV strains.
Therefore, they play an important role in the quest for and development
of an HIV vaccine.
A research team led by investigators of the Rockefeller University in New York and Prof Florian Klein, University Hospital Cologne and German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), has tested a new HIV neutralizing antibody, called 10-1074, in humans. The results of the trial have just been published in Nature Medicine.
In close collaboration with the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University Hospital Cologne (Prof Gerd Fätkenheuer) and scientists of the Rockefeller University in New York, Prof Klein's research group is investigating whether broadly neutralizing antibodies can be used to treat HIV infection.
Additionally, the antibody showed high antiviral activity in the participants with HIV infection. Furthermore, the team was able to specifically investigate the development of resistant HIV variants.
"We performed a comprehensive HIV sequence analysis to investigate the dynamics and mechanisms HIV uses to escape the selection pressure by the antibody," says Dr. Henning Gruell, one of the first authors of the current publication.
"This trial was only possible because of the intensive collaboration with the Rockefeller University and many other clinical and scientific partners," says Prof Klein, principal investigator in Germany and co-last author of the study. The scientists are planning further trials to investigate an antibody-mediated treatment approach in patients with HIV infection. Further trials have already been scheduled for spring.