Promising HIV treatments in early development – Part 1

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Following on from Sangamo BioSciences presentation of data at the 19th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (5-8 March 2012) on the positive effects of SB-728-T on Immune System and Viral Load Reduction and Further Validate Strategy for its ongoing Phase 2 trials, which Dale Ando, MD, Chief Medical Officer at the company suggested a ‘functional cure' for HIV, I thought I would put a few posts on the most promising drugs in the pharma pipeline:


Entry Inhibitors

Phase II

PRO 140 is a humanized CCR5 monoclonal antibody that demonstrated potent antivrial activity when administered intravenously to adults infected with CCR5-tropic (R5) HIV-1 in early studies. A 2010 study demonstrated that subcutaneous PRO 140 offered potential a significant dose-dependent HIV-1 RNA suppression. Compared to maraviroc, PRO 140 appeared to have less impact on the useful function of the CCR5 protein so fewer side effects. PRO 140 has been granted fast-track approval from the FDA and will need to be proven in large, long-term high-quality randomised controlled trials (RCTs).


TNX-355, which has now changed TMB-355 – also known as ibalizumab – is designed to block HIV from entering cells by binding the the protein CD4 on the cell surface. This is welcomed news to people for extensive drug resistance, where over the last several years research has been at the other end of the spectrum. At the ICAAC 2011 new data from phase 2b studies presented by Stanley Lewis, MD, of TaiMed Biologics (who are the latest company to take the development on) showed that highly treatment experienced patients – those resistance to all 3 major HIV drug classes (NNRTIs, NRTIs and protease inhibitors) – responded well to the treatment, with 48% of patients in the 800 mg arm and 28% in the 2000 mg arm reached a viral load below 50 after a 24 week study.

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