Danish researchers test a new and innovative strategy against HIV infection
The study aims to determine if a novel combination of investigational drugs will allow persons with HIV to stay off their regular medicine for a prolonged period of time.
Researchers from Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University are heading a new research project that investigates if a new combination of experimental hiv treatment can result in persons with hiv can stop taking daily hiv medicine for a longer period of time. The clinical trial is called TITAN and brings together two newly developed types of medicine.
The first type of new investigational drug is so-called broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies which bind to the surface of the virus and cells infected with hiv. The second type of investigational drug is small molecules that activates the immune system through a receptor
called TLR9 which enables the immune system to better identify and kill virus-infected cells. The researchers behind the study believe this is an important step on the way to develop a cure for hiv.
- The trial is one of the most innovative in the world and the first of its kind, combining two incredibly potent antibodies (3BNC117 and 10-1074) against HIV with an immune system stimulation (Lefitolimod), says MD, PhD and Associate professor Ole Schmeltz Søgaard from Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University.
The hypothesis behind the project is that each type of investigational drug alone or in combination can prolong the time from stopping standard hiv treatment until the viral load increases in the blood. The trial is randomized placebo-controlled trial which means that participants are randomly assigned to the investigational drugs or placebo. Participants are persons with hiv already treated with antiretroviral medicine. The trial is also double-blinded, and thus, neither the trial participant nor the trial staff know which treatment is given until the trial has ended.
After giving the first doses of investigational drugs, the trial participants stop taking their usual hiv medication and viral load in the blood is measured regularly to determine if the investigational drug(s) has boosted the ability of the immune system to keep the hiv infection under control.
The study is lead by researchers at Aarhus University Hospital. The university hospitals in Aalborg, Odense, Hvidovre and Rigshospitalet also participate actively in the study and the recruitment of participants. Moreover, hospitals in Australia and the USA also take part.
Ole Schmeltz Søgaard, MD, PhD and Associate professor
Department of Infectious Diseases, Aarhus University Hospital
Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University
Tel.: +45 2721 5985