A cure for HIV/AIDs has long been on the wish-list of not only sufferers but researchers and sexually-active people around the world. In the last four decades, we’ve seen huge improvements in the treatment of the incurable disease. But now scientists out of Hong Kong have made a breakthrough in the STD space.
Researchers from the University of Hong Kong‘s AIDS Institute and Department of Microbiology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine have invented a universal anitbody drug to tackle HIV/AIDS in another promising development to eventually discovering a cure.
Published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, the team engineered a neutralising antibody, universally effective “not only against all genetically divergent global HIV-1 strains tested but also promoting the elimination of latently infected cells in a humanised mouse model.”
While AIDS remains an incurable disease, the new research can lead to an effective vaccine or a therapeutic cure.
Because it’s extremely difficult to develop an appropriate immunogen (a molecule capable of setting off an immune response) to trigger broadly neutralising antibodies (bnAbs) against genetically different HIV-1 subtypes, developing existing bnAbs as passive immunisation (immunisation after already been exposed) becomes a useful approach for HIV-1 treatment.
To improve HIV-1 neutralisation, bispecific bnAb (combining two molecules together that are capable of inducing an immune response) blocks “two essential steps of HIV-1 entry into target cells”, showing promising results after testing in “humanised mice.”
The newly invented universal antibody drug brings hope to combatting HIV/Aids.