Image credit: Edward Jenner from Pexels
The global coronavirus pandemic has taken up so much space in the news cycle that we sometimes forget that there are also other medical emergencies and advances that are being made this year. One such medical advancement that could be possibly life-changing for a lot of people is the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) giving the green light for human trials to begin on a possible cure for HIV.
A press release from the company American Gene Technologies (AGT) reveals that the FDA has approved the first phase of human clinical trials for AGT103-T, a gene therapy developed by the company that aims to eliminate HIV. It is single-dose and lentiviral vector-based.
The first phase of the human trial will involve exploring surrogate markers of efficacy, the measurement of key biomarkers, and investigating whether AGT103-T is safe to use. The trial will be at the Washington Health Institute, University of Maryland, Institute of Human Virology and Georgetown University.
Before it was approved for human trials, AGT said that cell models with AGT103-T were able to “clear itself of HIV when challenged with the virus and HIV-infected human cells.”
AGT103-T is different from antiretroviral treatments as it is expected to lead to a cure for HIV. Antiretroviral treatments only control the amount of HIV one has in the body, sometime reducing it to being undetectable.
AGT CEO and founder Jeff Galvin certainly feels optimistic about the product, saying it is “an important step towards an eventual cure for HIV.”
David Pauza, Ph.D., AGT’s Chief Science Officer, echoed Galvin’s optimism, saying that their previous commercial-scale product manufacturing runs and the product’s features all point towards a “high potential to be effective.”
“We are beyond excited to reach this milestone. This brings us closer to our goal of transforming lives with genetic medicines,” he said.
OMG thank God
Thank you for publishing this article. This is great news..
There are always so many qualifications to announcements of such immense importance to so many people. HIV has had an enormous effect on so many lives, both within our community and universally. I am always hopeful for technology to break through and solve this decades-old scourge, but sadly I have learned not to get too hopeful.
On the other hand it is going to happen sooner or later, so I’m cautiously optimistic about this news. If we get a better handle on Coronavirus, conquer HIV, and focus some resources on mental health, defunding police will be inevitable.
You literally made no valid argument for defending the police. HIV, COVID, and mental health have nothing to do with gang violence, organized crime, or about 99% of other criminal issues. Drugs is the number 1. I would agree with you that more funds/or services/or something is needed for mental health, especially among homeless and veterans, you lose all support with such a weak jump.
This technology has yet to be tested in any human beings. How about the author of this piece rely less on the company’s press release and not buy into the hype the company purposefully generates. Maybe talk to other scientists working in the HIV cure field for some educated understanding to place this hyped story into better context for your readers. It’s not the first gene therapy for HIV cure, and it won’t be the last.
Unfortunately, there will never be a cure for HIV… or cancer … or MS … etc. The pharmaceutical companies will never allow it. They will lose too much money.
Money over the health and safety of people one day it will happen hopefully
I hate when folks disparage big pharma in this way. The meds they have produced have saved and improved countless. It took billions of dollars of research and development to product this modern pharmaceutical miracles. It’s very reasonable they be compensated for their efforts. Without profit (lots of profit), they’d have zero incentive to save countless lives. The company that patents the “cure” will make billions….tens of billions and they will receive crazy respect and notoriety for being the ones who actually did it. HIV won’t likely go away, so this “cure” will be like the gonorrhea shot of the… Read more »
Gene therapy for HIV is very logical since the two cured HIV patients got a bone marrow transplant with the favorable mutation. However, the infusion of own cells is not stem sells so how long will these last in the blood stream and will it be long enough to eradicate the virus or we will have to do regular transfusions instead of the current daily HIV drugs ….
Considering the evil that brought the virus HIV-Aids into the world, yeah I think they’re getting closer to end of the damn thing, however as mentioned; you’ve gotta keep the legalized fraud of capitalism out of the equation.
Evil that brought it into the world?
This is unlikely to be a cure, unless the genetically engineered cells replace the original immune system. Most HIV is hiding in lymphoid tissues and just injecting HIV resistant cells in the blood stream, that will last some time there and then go away, will not touch the hidden HIV reservoirs — the so called sanctuary sites.
Have the virus been found hiding in the body ? sorta like Shingles, hides until activated or stressed