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Hope for gene therapy

Jul 2, 2004


Would it be possible if you could give me your view on VIRxSYS HIV lentiviral vector, VRX496? I'm 23 and have been HIV+ for about two years now and found out about a year ago. I've been told by my doctor that with the rapid advances in treatment we have now compared to ten years ago I stand a good chance of living a normal life. Even with my doctors advice and comments you still sometimes feel that you have a short time left. How long will it be before VRX496 or any treatment is on the market and what does the pipeline for the next few years look like?

Thank you for your valued time and advice.

Response from Dr. Pierone

I agree with your doctor that you stand a good chance of leading a normal life. Right now we can accomplish this with medications, but the ultimate goal is to develop a cure for HIV infection. That is where gene therapy approaches come in to the picture. One gene therapy tactic is to imbue our cells with the capacity to resist HIV infection, of if chronically infected to not allow HIV to become activated and take over.

I don't know about VIRsSYS except that it is phase 1 development. Here is a link to a TAG article on immune based therapies that lists quite a few compounds in development. Good luck!

starting treatment
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