June 20, 2024

Researchers Achieve HIV Eradication from Cells, Clearing Path Towards a Possible Cure

Researchers have taken a promising step towards an HIV cure using CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), a powerful gene-editing technology. This approach involves using CRISPR, likened to molecular scissors, to cut HIV’s DNA out of infected cells, according to the BBC.
While existing treatments suppress HIV, they can’t eliminate it entirely. This new research, though in its early stages, offers hope for a complete eradication of the virus, as per the news outlet.

Scientists Edit HIV Out Of Cells, Paving The Way For A Potential Cure

The University of Amsterdam team presented their findings as a summary at a medical conference. They emphasise that this is a preliminary concept and won’t translate to a cure immediately. Further research is needed to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Experts like Dr James Dixon, Associate Professor of Stem Cell and Gene Therapy Technologies at the University of Nottingham, agree that a full evaluation of the research is necessary.

This is an interesting study in which gene-editing technology has been used to remove the permanent nature of how HIV inserts and retains its genome in that of patient cells. Much more work will be needed to demonstrate that the results of these cell assays can happen in the entire body for future therapies. As this is not peer reviewed, it will be important to assess the specific data that confirms the findings, and there will be much more development needed before this could have an impact on those with HIV,” Dr Dixon said.

Dr Jonathan Stoye, Senior Group Leader and Head of the Retrovirus-Host Interactions Laboratory, Francis Crick Institute, said: “The idea of a functional cure for AIDS using CRISPR-Cas9 technology to purge the body of HIV-1 has enormous appeal. Many groups are working in this area, and at least one company, Excision BioTherapeutics, has already initiated clinical trials of a small number of HIV-1-infected individuals.”

Source: https://www.ndtv.com/