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Therapeutic Antibody to Eradicate Latent HIV-1 Infection

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Latently infected CD4+ cells killed
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Researchers
Douglas F. Nixon
Rui Andre Saraiva Raposo
Miguel de Mulder Rougvie
Dominic Paquin Proulx
Phillip Brailey
Vinicius D. Cabido
Paul Zdinak
Richard B. Jones
Managed By
Brian Coblitz
Sr. Licensing Associate coblitz@gwu.edu (202) 994-4345
Patent Protection

Provisional Patent Application Filed
Publications
IFITM1 targets HIV-1 latently infected cells for antibody-dependent cytolysis
JCI Insight, Vol. 2 Issue 1; January 12, 2017

Fortunately, patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) can now live a long life, but they must continually take the antiretroviral therapy that suppresses HIV-1 reproduction. If the virus could be fully eradicated from the patients, they could stop taking these expensive medications. The eradication of HIV-1 from patients remains unachievable due to the persistence of reservoirs of latent virus. GW researchers found that these reservoirs include CD4+ T-cells that contain low levels of replicating HIV-1 and overexpress Interferon Induced Transmembrane Protein 1 (IFITM1). Interferons are made by the host and suppress viral replication. Since this treatment targets a host factor it is not possible for HIV-1 to escape killing by mutating.

A mouse monoclonal antibody against IFITM1 induced significant killing of latently infected CD4+ cells through antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) in vitro (Fig. 1). Additional development is needed to adapt the antibody for human use, and to evaluate whether any other HIV reservoirs remain that do not express IFITM1 or are not killed by the antibody.

Applications:

  • A therapeutic treatment for HIV.

Advantages:

  • Kills efficiently and specifically latently infected cells.
  • Targets HIV-1 reservoir without the need for T-cell activation.
  • Targets host factors making it impossible for HIV-1 to escape by mutating.