Biotech firm launches small scale human trials of new HIV/AIDS treatment

Sangamo BioSciences’, a California-based biotechnology company, recently announced plans to commence human trials of a new potential HIV/AIDS treatment that would function by targeting patients’ DNA.  The drug, oh-so-conveniently titled SB-728-T, has been designed to disrupt the CCR5 gene, which is a protein on the surface of those human immune cells to which HIV likes to attach itself in order to proliferate. 

Phase 1 of this small-scale study will involve removing the CD4+ T cells of 12 individuals living with advanced HIV disease.  The cells would then be treated, outside of the body, with the SB-728-T drug, which is also called a “zinc finger nuclease.”  Following this treatment, the cells would be infused back into the patient in hopes that they will flourish and multiply, leaving the patient’s immune system highly resistant to HIV.  The ultimate purpose of this initial phase is to examine the safety of this new, potential HIV therapy.

For additional information, of to see the original article on Kaiser Family Foundation’s website, please visit the following URL: http://www.thebody.com/content/news/art50405.html


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