Understanding our commitment to curing the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) starts with an overview of the challenge this virus presents to the human immune system. Here’s how we’re committed to curing HIV.
When bacteria, viruses or chemicals enter our body, our immune system goes to war. Bacterial or viral invaders, called antigens, are first met by ‘helper’ T cells. Once called into action, the helper T cells stimulate B cells. These B cells create customized antibodies (or immunoglobulins) that attach or bind to the antigen. The antibody ‘scouts’ have a critical role, since they ‘mark’ specific antigens as enemies to the system. Now the immune system’s ‘killer’ T cells know how to recognize the antigens that must be attacked and destroyed. This process helps our body eliminate the invaders and return to peaceful, normal function.
HIV targets and kills the ‘helper’ T cells, cutting the connection to B cells and stalling the critical process of antibody production. The result? The immune system is unable to identify antigens, ‘killer’ T cells can’t find invaders, and the immune system’s ability to protect is compromised. No cure exists today, but we’re committed to curing HIV.
Since HIV disrupts this cell 'special-ops team's' production of antibody ‘markers’, we needed to find a way to introduce antibodies into the immune system with the power to target, and even neutralize the HIV virus.
Monoclonal Antibodies Opened the Door
More than 40 years ago, biomedical researchers found a way to fuse a B cell that was creating customized antibodies with an immortal B cell – one that would continue to divide and grow – resulting in a cell that could target a specific invader and have a long cell life. Their discovery, monoclonal antibodies, has fueled disease research, including ours.
The first monoclonal antibodies were created with animal cells, making them less compatible with human immune systems. Our solution had to be fully humanized to prevent patient rejection. And since HIV can also compromise the effectiveness of vital ‘killer’ T cells, we wanted our monoclonal antibody to be able to stop the HIV virus cells from reproducing.
Curing HIV – The BioClonetics Commitment
Incorporating learning from leading researchers at the National Institute of Health, our research team has created a cell line that produces a fully human monoclonal antibody, the Clone 3 antibody, that binds to the HIV virus. There are more than 5000 strains of the HIV virus worldwide. The Clone 3 antibody targets 98% of them.
Importantly, recent tests in the international research institutes of Harvard Medical School, Duke University, University of California San Francisco, University of South Florida and Polymun Scientific show the Clone 3 neutralizes over 95% of primary HIV isolates tested.
This success rate far outpaces the current FDA approved treatment, Fuzeon (used as an HIV inhibitor), which shows a significant reduction in viral load in only about 33% of patients. Antiretrovirals (
), like Fuzeon, can improve a patient's health for decades, but can also severely damage the heart and kidneys, decrease bone density and contribute to Vitamin D deficiency. Current treatment regimens are life-long, requiring significant financial investment.
With these promising results, we are quickly moving forward to complete additional testing and seeking support to launch preclinical trials this year. More than 36 million people worldwide are living with HIV with almost 2 million new cases in 2016. About half are receiving treatment.
One million people died -- 120,000 of the deaths were children.
We must do better – and now, we can. BioClonetics Immunotherapeutics is one step closer to ending the search for the HIV cure.