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VRX496 Gene Therapy as a potential cure for HIV

Jul 1, 2008

Dr Moyle, I recently came into communication with one of the original 5 study patients that have just finished Phase I with Virxsys' "VRX496" Gene Therapy being conducted at the University of Pensylvania. He is now in Phase II studies in which he has ceased HAART and his immune system is still stable and recovering. Do you have any further in-depth information or insight than that offered through Virxsys Corporation's web-site regarding more specific's of this particular treatment. It appears that they may have the "Holy Grail" of cure at work here. I noted in a recent published article that there are now new study groups beginning with this treatment at several other university research facilities inclusive of the University of Louisville. I greatly appreciate your taking the time to consider offering your professional opinion and knowledge regarding this Gene Therapy study. Sincerely, Barry

Response from Dr. Moyle

Hi Barry We are all watching development in gene therapy with interest. I have no additional insights in Virxsys until more information is presented at conferences. The issue here is that patients still continue to have viral production, albit of a defective virus, but potentially something which may continue to drive damaging immune inflammation. The first 5 patients were treated 2 years+ ago so I hope we have more information soon. The company reports several planned and on-going small phase 2 studies. I note also the recent report from Sangamo with a zinc finger probe which switches off the CCR5 receptor gene in lymphoctes. This is related to gene therapy and is of considerable interest both as a therapy and preventative modality. These approaches hold considerable promise and interest but a slow and challenging to develop. Keep watching out for more news as it develops Kind regards Dr Moyle

lymph nodes
What stage?

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