Study Shows Antibody Cocktail Better in Preventing HIV Infection

Trispecific Antibodies Protect Against HIV

Monkeys Protected from HIV-Like Virus with 3-In-1 Antibody

Joining the antibodies, called broadly neutralizing antibodies, may stop a bigger number of cells infected from HIV than any single one, two new examinations recommend.

The U.S. National Institute of Health collaborated with pharmaceutical firm Sanofi in conducting the research.

A major breakthrough has been achieved in HIV treatment with a new antibody that attacks almost every known strain.

The new research took a combination of these "broadly neutralizing antibodies" and combined them into one treatment. The HIV strains resemble and have the same symptoms as those of influenza while the body tries to attack it.

While this is a promising result, the treatment has not been tested in humans yet. Several unique strains can be concurrently present inside the body of a single patient.

They ran tests on 24 monkeys, injecting all of the primates with HIV and then analysing them to observe whether or not they contracted the disease following a dosage of the antibody.

The simultaneous binding of three independent antigens by a single antibody has the potential to significantly increase the power of vaccinations.

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If the trials are successful this antibody could be used as a long-term treatment for HIV or even as a vaccine.

"It was quite an impressive degree of protection", Gary Nabel, a researcher in the study, told BBC.

This means that the antibodies will be able to attack nearly all strains of HIV, no matter what the appearance may be.

"We're getting 99% coverage, and getting coverage at very low concentrations of the antibody", said DrNabel. The experiment showed that none of the monkeys developed HIV.

"This is a major advance toward the development of a preventative strategy, but it's not a vaccine", Richard Koup, MD, NIH scientist and study author, said.

The research included contributions from scientists at Harvard Medical School, The Scripps Research Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"These super-engineered antibodies seem to go beyond the natural and could have more applications than we have imagined to date", Prof Linda-Gail Bekker, president of the International Aids Society, was cited as saying by Silicon Republic. Although more than half of the monkeys in each of the natural antibody groups became infected with HIV, none of the monkeys who received the engineered three-pronged antibody became infected.

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