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Dear Friend,
Thank you for your support of ADARC's mission to find solutions to the HIV/AIDS epidemic through scientific research. We want to share some of the scientific progress taking place in our laboratories, and hope you will enjoy being a part of future breakthroughs.

 ADARC expands antibody prevention strategy  

 

2ndibalizumabADARC, in partnership with the Tulane University National Primate Research Center and Sino Biological, Inc. and with major support from a new grant by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is embarking on a project to develop and test a new strategy based on a monoclonal antibody that can prevent HIV infection.

 

Recent studies have shown that antiviral drugs can protect against HIV infection if taken daily. However, the adherence challenges of such a demanding regimen may limit their feasibility. The use of monoclonal antibodies that can be administered less frequently would create a much-needed alternative in the field of HIV prevention. Dr. Ho's laboratory has been working to develop ibalizumab, an antibody that binds to the CD4 cell receptor, for HIV prevention since 2009. A phase 1 trial to evaluate its safety in healthy individuals is underway, with plans to advance it into a phase 2a trial in the next year.

 

Dr. Ho and colleagues will engineer bi-specific molecules where ibalizumab is genetically fused to other HIV-neutralizing antibody-like molecules. By doing so, his lab is striving to improve the breadth, potency and long-lasting effect of traditional monoclonal antibodies in order to create an HIV preventive that could be administered once every two months. Scientists will develop and test different molecules in the laboratory in order to identify the most potent and broad-acting to advance into tests in animals. The selected molecule will then be manufactured for formal preclinical studies with the goal of preparing the lead candidate for a Phase 1 clinical trial.

 

In parallel, the team will work to develop a gene-transfer method so that DNA encoding the bi-specific molecules can be injected directly into a healthy person, then use the body's own cells to produce the HIV-protective molecules. This new technology will allow for an even longer-lasting and more cost-efficient product which would have a huge impact, especially in the developing world.

  

"If successful, these novel molecules have the potential to change the face of HIV prevention and generate antiviral agents that are safe, long-lasting, and incredibly potent. We are grateful to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for supporting our pursuit of this exciting and promising strategy," said Dr. Ho

 

 

 Everyday Heroes in the Battle Against HIV/AIDS      

 

DDHABCNewsDr. David Ho and others at the forefront of the fight against HIV/AIDS in the United States are featured in Around the World, an online series hosted by journalist Christiane Amanpour.  

 

Dr. Ho talks about his experience battling HIV and the trials that led to the major breakthrough of combination therapy.  He also warns against the complacency brought on by effective treatment, and the fact that the epidemic continues in the United States. This two-part series also discusses the worldwide epidemic.

 

To watch Dr. Ho's interview, click here.  

 

 New Grant  

 

MasahiroYamashitaPhD

ADARC Assistant Professor Masahiro Yamashita, PhD has received a Research Project Grant from the National Institutes of Health to support his work to elucidate the mechanism used by HIV to penetrate the nucleus of resting CD4 Cells and macrophages, non-dividing cells that play critical roles in HIV transmission, persistence in the body and disease progression .  

 

Dr. Yamashita and his colleagues will explore the correlation between HIV's capsid, a protein which holds the viral RNA, and the host molecule TNPO3. This relationship is essential to HIV nuclear entry and replication in host cells. Dr. Yamashita's team will also analyze HIV capsid evolution in patients who are associated with slow disease progression. Finally, he will combine his data with a macaque model of HIV to address the importance of nuclear entry in vivo.   

 

You can support Dr. Yamashita's research. 

 

 

 

  

Academic Seminars   

 

Invited speakers share their work on HIV/AIDS with a scientific audience.

To attend, please email mbell@adarc.org.              

                
Tuesday, April 10 at 12pm

Eric Verdin, MD    -  Gladstone Institute of Virology And Immunology

HIV Transcriptional Regulation as a Novel Therapeutic Target.

  

Monday, April 23 at 12pm

 

Nicolas Chomont, PhD - Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of Florida

 

Immunological Mechanisms Involved in HIV Persistence: Keeping Memory, Keeping HIV.    

 

Tuesday, May 22 at 12pm

 

Ian Wilson, PhD - The Scripps Research Institute 

 

Structural Insights into HIV-1 Neutralization by New Highly Potent and Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies

 
In This Issue
Prevention Strategy
Everyday Heroes
New Grant
Academic Seminars
Join Us 


Private support is vital to ADARC's mission - it allows rapid exploration of  new ideas before they can attract government funding. We count on your support to sustain an agile and creative research environment.

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(212) 448-5089

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Thank you for your interest in ADARC's work. Our new institutional brochure, which summarizes our history, research programs and achievements is now available. You can read it online or to request a printed copy, please call (212) 448-5069.  
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