HealthDay News — Therapy with a human antibody appears to reduce levels of HIV in the blood for at least a month, preliminary research findings suggest.
The antibody “might be able to intensify current treatment strategies,” Florian Klein, MD, an assistant professor of clinical investigation at Rockefeller University in New York City, told HealthDay, especially since this new treatment appears to be more potent than previous attempts at HIV immunotherapy. The findings were published in a research letter in Nature.
This antibody treatment would have to be combined with HIV drugs or another antibody, according to researchers, and many more studies are needed before it could even be used as an add-on therapy.
In the new study, the investigators turned to an antibody known as 3BNC117 that targets HIV, a type of antibody that is only produced naturally in about 10% to 30% of people with HIV.
Twelve people without HIV and 17 people with HIV received the immunotherapy. The participants were almost all men aged 22 to 58 years and about half were black.
The levels of virus in HIV-positive patients who got the highest doses were “significantly reduced” for 28 days, the researchers found. The treatment was generally safe and well-tolerated without serious side effects.