There has been a recent and major breakthrough in the medical space, the holy grail in the fight against HIV and AIDS, the production of an effective vaccine. The research was carried out by US National Institute of Health with Sanofi, and scientists have succeeded in developing an antibody capable of eradicating 99% of HIV strains.
New antibody under development capable of fighting 99% of HIV viral strains
This recent advance in the fight against HIV has been praised by The International AIDS Society, calling the research an “exciting breakthrough”. You can find out why the HIV is so dangerous and fatal here. One unknown fact is that some people mysteriously have the ability to produce a defense instrument known as “broadly neutralizing antibodies“, which allows them to kill multiple HIV strains concurrently (the mutation and change in HIV is a key reason why the virus is so hard to eradicate). The fight to find broadly neutralizing antibodies has continued for a long long time.
The tri-specific antibody was created from a combination of three unique antibodies
Deeper into the science, the antibody was created from a combination of three unqiue antibodies which is designed to fight three different and crucial parts of the virus. By doing that, the effectiveness of the antibody in dismantling the virus’ resistance is assured.
What is the caveat of this research?
This research will definitely give many people hope. However, only 24 monkeys were included in the study for the development of the antibody. None of the monkeys contracted HIV after being given the antibody and then the HIV injection. Live human trials are expected in 2018 though, signalling high degree of optimism. The caution here is really that only a small sample size was covered in this research, but the constrains are understandable.
There is a huge demand for HIV treatment, and the rush to develop and invent effective drugs has only been heating up. Conducted by researchers from Harvard Medical School, MIT, and the Scripps Research Institute, the genetically engineered antibody does sound like a science fiction. I am personally amazed at the speed of medical development, and we are starting to see enhanced drugs which are invoking our body’s potential to fight viruses.
Regardless, we will continue to cover the development in the space. What are your thoughts?