Hundreds of research groups across the world are working on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention and treatment. Scientists have been studying broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV, and thought a HIV vaccine would be a solution to effectively protect against and treat HIV infection in the vast majority of people.
The research team of Dr. Ronald C. Descrosiers from University of Miami has found an alternative strategy, in which one injection of anti-HIV monoclonal antibodies provided three years of viral suppression in preclinical model. The study "Adeno-Associated Virus Delivery of Anti-HIV Monoclonal Antibodies Can Drive Long-Term Virologic Suppression" was published in Immunity on March 19th, 2019. "AAV-mediated delivery of potent anti-HIV broadly neutralizing antibodies circumvents the need of a vaccine-induced immune response", commented by Sebastian P. Fuchs, Ph. D., one of the two co-first authors (José M. Martinez-Navio, Sebastian P. Fuchs) of this study.
In this study, the AAV-antibody approach was utilized as a therapy against chronic immunodeficiency virus infection. 3 of 16 animals maintained therapeutic levels of the AAV-delivered anti-HIV antibodies, leading to long-term virologic suppression. One of the three monkeys, termed the "Miami monkey", showed undetectable plasma viremia for over 3 years. "Our results provide proof of concept for AAV-delivered anti-HIV antibodies to produce a 'functional cure'", said Dr. Fuchs.
In this "Miami Monkey" study, GenScript proudly contributed to the design, optimization, synthesis and cloning of the AAV vectors harboring the monoclonal coding sequences.