HIV and CRISPR


Two new potential therapies to fight HIV have been welcomed as World AIDS Day was marked last week.


Researchers at Temple University, Pennsylvania USA, have created a new therapy to treat HIV infection based on a gene-editing technology.


The team developed a CRISPR-based therapy - called EBT-101 – which was successful in targeting and eliminating HIV from infected cells in humans, mice, and monkeys.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is a virus that damages the cells in the immune system and weakens the ability of the body to fight infections and disease.


The therapy has been accepted by the US Food and Drug Administration, opening the way to the first clinical trials of a CRISPR-based therapy for HIV infection.


Meanwhile, EARA member GSK has said it is aiming to develop a cure for HIV by 2030.

Following positive results in monkeys, GSK is now planning to conduct human trials to ‘wake up’ the latent HIV virus within patient’s immune cells in order to neutralise it.

“Our ultimate goal is always a cure of HIV,” Kimberly Smith, head of research and development at Glaxo’s HIV arm ViiV Healthcare.

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