Scientists at UC Davis are gearing up for a human trial using stem cells to combat HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. By engineering multiple types of HIV-resistant genes into mice, they were able to replicate a normal, healthy immune system.
The therapy causes resistant cells to self-replicate, meaning a human patient may only need one treatment in his or her lifetime. While this would not destroy the virus inside the body, it would be a functional cure, eliminating nearly all of the autoimmune symptoms that accompany the disease. The study was unclear about whether a treated individual would still be able to transmit the virus through sexual contact or other bodily fluids.
The mouse study tested safety and efficacy, which is the first step in designing a human trial. There is no report of a timeline for a human trial, although most studies require several animal studies before moving into human trials.
Learn more about innovation in stem cell research at the Stem Cells USA and Regenerative Medicine Congress!