HIV Vaccine Finally Discovered In Israel! Good news

Israeli scientists see breakthrough in AIDS cure!

HIV and AIDS patients may find new hope in a drug developed at Hebrew University in Jerusalem which is currently being tested at the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot.

The drug was inserted into test tubes containing the blood of ten AIDS patients currently being treated at the hospital, and was found to decrease the HIV virus count in the blood samples by as much as 97 percent in just eight days, Channel 2 reported Monday.

The active ingredient in the drug is a peptide, or smaller version of a protein, that was developed by Abraham Loyter and Assaf Friedler at Hebrew University. The peptide causes several copies of the virus’s DNA to enter the infected cell, instead of just one copy, causing the cell to self-destruct.

HIV is currently treated with a cocktail of drugs that slow the progression of the infection in the body but never rid the patient of the virus entirely. These drugs have allowed doctors to treat AIDS as a chronic illness as opposed to a fatal one.

Loyter explained that the new approach is superior to previous efforts.

“With our approach,” Loyter told Channel 2, “we are destroying the cells, so there is no chance that the virus will awaken one day, because there are no cells, there will be no cells that contain the virus.”

Loyter explained that “the drug enhances certain processes in the body during the spreading of the virus and that enhancement kills certain cells.”

HIV virus Zion Medical
Potential HIV Cure Shows Early Stage
Success.

A Phase I/II trial found that an Israeli biotech’s drug reduces a patient’s HIV levels by up to 99%, and might one day be a cure for the infection.

The trial, run by Zion Medical, found that the synthetic peptide drug reduced the level of viral RNA in patients’ blood by up to 90% after five weeks. In combination with the approved HIV drugs lopinavir and ritonavir, it reduced viral RNA levels by up to 99% after five weeks.

Not only did the drug reportedly lack side-effects, but it also increased the amount of T cells in the patients, a sign of a healthy immune system.

These results on their own are only confirming that Zion’s drug reduces blood viral RNA levels, as approved antiretroviral drugs do. However, the company said that the trial also reaffirmed preclinical trials showing the effectiveness of the drug in killing infected cells.

“These first clinical results were beyond our expectations and promise hope in finding a cure for a disease that was discovered over 35 years ago,” stated Esmira Naftali, Chief Operation and Development Officer at Zion.

The drug, licensed from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is now continuing into a Phase IIb trial to test its long-term effects in 50 patients.

While approved antiretroviral drugs reduce viral RNA in the blood, they cannot permanently shut down HIV-infected cells, which serve as hidden HIV virus factories.

HIV virus
In contrast, Zion’s drug is designed to eliminate HIV and the infected cells by activating integrase, the enzyme that HIV uses to insert viral DNA into the host cell’s genome. Integrase then inserts too much viral DNA into the cell, blowing the virus’s cover and making the cell commit suicide.

“[Our drug’s] treatment mechanism is to reduce viral load through affecting the infected cells, which keep on producing more viruses,” Naftali told me. “With [antiretrovirals], once reaching undetected levels of viral load in the plasma, infected cells are still remaining.”

This mechanism of action is particularly interesting due to the way it activates integrase, whereas some antiretrovirals such as raltegravir inhibit the same enzyme to stop the virus inserting its DNA into host cells.

Other companies are racing to develop cures for HIV. Last year, the French company Abivax had a positive Phase IIa trial of its small molecule which attacks the HIV ‘reservoir’ hiding in infected cells. The Spanish company Aelix and Gilead have partnered up to develop a vaccine that reduces the HIV reservoir. Sangamo is also working on a Phase I/II trial of a cell therapy that gives immune cells resistance to HIV infection.

DESTROYING THE CELLS
Israeli scientists see breakthrough in AIDS cure!

Drug now being tested causes HIV-infected cells to self-destruct without harming the cells.
Israeli scientists see breakthrough in AIDS cure

HIV and AIDS patients may find new hope in a drug developed at Hebrew University in Jerusalem which is currently being tested at the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot.

The drug was inserted into test tubes containing the blood of ten AIDS patients currently being treated at the hospital, and was found to decrease the HIV virus count in the blood samples by as much as 97 percent in just eight days, Channel 2 reported Monday.

The active ingredient in the drug is a peptide, or smaller version of a protein, that was developed by Abraham Loyter and Assaf Friedler at Hebrew University. The peptide causes several copies of the virus’s DNA to enter the infected cell, instead of just one copy, causing the cell to self-destruct.

HIV is currently treated with a cocktail of drugs that slow the progression of the infection in the body but never rid the patient of the virus entirely. These drugs have allowed doctors to treat AIDS as a chronic illness as opposed to a fatal one.

Loyter explained that the new approach is superior to previous efforts.

“With our approach,” Loyter told Channel 2, “we are destroying the cells, so there is no chance that the virus will awaken one day, because there are no cells, there will be no cells that contain the virus.”

Loyter explained that “the drug enhances certain processes in the body during the spreading of the virus and that enhancement kills certain cells.”

In a separate but related development, the Health Ministry announced last week it would begin distributing prophylactic drugs for the first time to populations at higher risk of contracting HIV. The drugs, when taken regularly, have been found to be effective in preventing the spread of HIV during contact.

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