CAR-T therapy for durable remission of HIV
Suppressing HIV with a patient’s own cells
We are developing a one-time treatment for the durable remission of HIV. The treatment will enhance a patient’s own immune system to be able to kill HIV in places where it hides. After this treatment, some patients may not need to continue treatment with other medications, including antiretrovirals.
We modify the patient’s own T cells to express a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR), which allows T cells to penetrate B cell follicles and which enhances the ability of the T cells to kill HIV and HIV infected cells.
Features of the immune system
The therapy works by employing several components of the patient’s immune system:
Cytotoxic T cells (T lymphocytes, CTL) function to kill HIV and HIV infected cells.
Secondary lymphoid organs, such as the spleen and lymph nodes, are the sites where most HIV replication is concentrated.
B cell follicles are a part of secondary lymphoid organs such as the spleen and lymph nodes. HIV is adept at hiding in B cell follicles, allowing it to escape immune surveillance from CTL, and causing persistent infection.
A sufficient number of CTL targeted to B cell follicles could result in the ability to keep viral loads low without other medications.
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