Nov 6, 2013
Hi Nelson, What do you make of the results coming out of Sangamo Biosciences? Their data looks good but the study numbers are so small. Do you think this treatment shows promise? Value your opinion. Tom
Response from Mr. Vergel
The studies are encouraging. After one infusion of genetically modified CD4 cells resistant to HIV infection it was found that most of these cells survived and amounted to 7 percent of total CD4 cells of patients in a small Sangamo study. Patients that did not get off antiretrovirals (ARVs) are still doing well with higher CD4 cells than what they started with (they also had normalized CD4/CD8 ratios). However, patients that stopped ARVs after the infusion lost their gained CD4 cells.
Sangamo is now trying different ways to improve the "uptake" of modified CD4 cells by treating people first with small doses of chemotherapy agents that may help flush HIV reservoirs before they infuse people with these cells. This is called conditioning.
This is Sangamo's latest press release: SANGAMO BIOSCIENCES PRESENTS CLINICAL DATA DEMONSTRATING HIV RESERVOIR REDUCTION IN HIV-INFECTED SUBJECTS TREATED WITH MODIFIED IMMUNE CELLS WITH ZINC FINGER NUCLEASES
I am also following Calimmune, a company doing what Sangamo is trying to achieve but using another technology to create a mutation in two sites to which HIV attaches on CD4 cells. Their study is completely enrolled and we are waiting for data: Calimmune Initiates HIV Stem Cell Study at Two California Research Sites
Exciting times we are living! But this path is going to be a long one. At least we can say that we are on our way there!
Stay tuned here at TheBody.com. We will keep you updated on HIV Cure research.
All the best,
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