Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibodies
Monoclonal antibodies represent the future of long-term antiretrovirals (ARVs).
In review, a virus causes HIV, and up till now we have had only one real type of medicine that works for it, short-term ARVs. There are seven different kinds of short-term ARV's, one thing they all have in common is that they only last briefly in the human body, and as a result have to be taken every day.
So why do monoclonal antibodies last so long in the body? The answer is because they are what the immune system naturally produces to fight infection, so your body is used to them being around. Short-term ARV's, like what we have now for HIV, are small molecules that the body is not used to having around and rapidly disposes of.
Monoclonal antibodies are a critical therapy and we feel it is more important than ever to start to create some political will to see this line of therapy pursued as prevention and treatment for the domestic and global community.
Illustrated Research Methods to Determine the MOA of Cytolin
It was April of 2009 when Search For A Cure originally composed our first due diligence report for Dr. Eric Rosenberg after seeking out advisement from experts in the field to determine if we should offer our support for the experimentation and development of a particular antibody that targets LFA-1, known as Cytolin. It was based on that report that Dr. Rosenberg agreed to undertake a series of experiments with his post doctoral student Jenna Reychert endeavoring to identify the mechanism of action of the antibody.
Since this initial effort, we have dedicated ourselves to fulfilling a mission of seeing the avenue of monoclonal antibodies for therapies and for prevention seriously explored in all possible forms. The team at Mass General Hospital have completed their first round of research and have uncovered some promising and interesting facts about the anti-LFA-1 Mab, Cytolin, which has been published in the Virology Journal. Here you will find a graphic depiction of the article that they published, which may help you to follow and understand the process used for identifying the MOA of the antibody. We are composing an evaluation of the landscape of antibodies in development now in anticipation of a second national antibodies for HIV meeting, and will have more content soon to hopefully put this research in a better context.
ATAC's DDC Committee Meeting on Therapeutic Antibodies
On February 1, 2013 in San Diego, CA Search For A Cure hosted a committee meeting of some of the best and brightest HIV/AIDS activists who have been engaged at the highest levels of patient advocacy and therapeutic development strategy since the early days of the epidemic.
The group, known as the AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition (ATAC), is a national coalition of AIDS activists – many living with HIV/AIDS – working together to end the AIDS epidemic by advancing research on HIV. We brought them together with representation from CytoDyn Inc., the company responsible for the continued development of the monoclonal antibody PRO140, to discuss the entire field of monoclonal antibodies and their role in the future as tools for combating HIV/AIDS.
A History and Future of Antibodies for HIV
Through a long and often misunderstood use antibodies have been instramental agents for the achievement of health, resistance, and immunization. From the imbibment of toxins to garner resistance to their poisons by Mithridates the Sixth, to the discovery and classification of antibodies as the "Magic Bullet" by Paul Ehrlich in the early 1900's, to the now over 30 patented FDA approved monoclonal antibodies as therapeutic agents by the modern medical industry for centuries we have been leveraging this naturally binding agent for its high specificity to targets, gentle metabolization by the body, and long half-life.
This is the story of the history of antibodies, their use and the discovery of how to manipulate and design them for specific purposes, and their potential future and role as important therapeutic agents to ease the burden of treatment for HIV patients and to help in bringing about the end of transmission and the end of the HIV epidemic.
PRO140: A Game Changer for People with HIV
Yesterday there was the announcement of the official acquisition of the monoclonal antibody PRO-140 from Progenics Pharmaceuticals by CytoDyn Inc. As the monoclonals continue to emerge as useful tools for other areas of medicine, we are pleased to share the value that they represent to the HIV community. We feel it is especially important to pursue research in this area as the data shared with us on our Jan. 13th roundtable discussion with experts in the field physicians demonstrates that these therapies really can work. Please read more to begin to understand why these long lasting therapeutics are so important to our community.
Possible New Life for PRO140
The monoclonal antibody PRO140, which is the most developed antibody therapy for HIV at this point with compelling phase II clinical data, may be getting a new home with a company who has their own antibody technology against a different target. This union of antibodies under one roof has the potential to benefit both technologies as an approval from the FDA for either will be beneficial for both and for the generation that will inevitably follow. The companies are in negotiations and Search For A Cure is supportive of an agreement being made. Click read more to see the whole story.
Possible Indications of Use For mAb Therapy
Having spoken with Dr. Ken Mayer of Brown University and the Fenway Community Health Center, Boston we concluded that there are many possible sites along the life cycle of HIV infection in which monoclonal antibodies may be employed as effective therapies. Dr. Mayer emphasized that these are "possibilities" for mAb employment, and that clinical trials will help us determine exactly in what capacity monoclonal antibodies can play a role in patient care. We at Search For A Cure are hopeful about the prospects, and are focused intently on prevention - but without making the mistake of leaving the infected behind.
Antibodies and AIDS an Overview
Antibodies for HIV Jan. 13th - Meeting Summary and Transcript
A Meeting Regarding the Therapeutic Potential of Antibodies for HIV
In 2009 Search was introduced to an interesting monoclonal antibody that had been used in a 188 patients in the early days of the disease before the antivirals existed that showed promissing evidence of viral reduction. The antibody is called Cytolin. Since then we have been following the progress of its development as it is now being researched by Dr. Eric Rosenberg at Massachusetts General Hospital. We conducted an interview with Dr. Rosenberg about its progress in October of 2011 which you can read under our Q&A section here. To our surprise in the last few years there has been an explosion of antibodies being approved as therapeutics for all kinds of illnesses, and there are now multiple promising ones in the lab with potential for the HIV population including Ibalizumab, Cytolin, and PRO140.