Researchers hope to cure HIV using CAR-T cells

CAR-T cell

University of California researchers have dosed the second participant in their clinical trial to identify a potential cure for HIV utilising CAR-T cell therapy.

The first participant was dosed with anti-HIV duoCAR T cells at UC Davis Medical Center in mid-August. The trial is the first-in-human clinical study investigating the duo CAR-T cell therapy for the treatment of HIV.

“We have reached an important milestone with the dosing of the second participant in our clinical trial evaluating a potentially groundbreaking CAR-T cell therapy to cure HIV,” said Mehrdad Abedi, Professor of Internal Medicine, Hematology and Oncology and co-investigator of the study. “So far, there have been no adverse events observed that were related to the treatment and the two participants are doing fine.”

Pre-clinical research investigating the CAR-T cell therapy demonstrated an ability to potently suppress HIV and eliminate HIV-expressing cells in vitro and in animal models.

Currently, there are approximately 38 million people living with HIV around the world. In 2021 there were an estimated 1.5 million new cases and 650,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses worldwide, according to UNAIDS.

“HIV remains the deadliest pandemic of our time and more effort needs to be invested in developing a potential cure for this disease,” said Paolo Troia-Cancio, a clinical professor of medicine with the infectious disease division and co-investigator on the CAR-T cell study. “If we are able to identify the optimal dose of the CAR-T cell therapy for ongoing clinical development, we may be one step closer to finding that cure.”

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