The functional cure for HIV

The functional cure for HIV


HIV virus infecting a T Cell

September 2015 will be the big news launching. 36 selected patients will be part of this clinical trial where the patients will receive a therapeutic vaccine (that’s right, not a preventive) against the AIDS virus. The clinical trial will be lead by Hospital Clinic of Barcelona where the first steps were taken in Universidad de Barcelona (Barcelona University) where Research and Development Unit of Cellular Therapy Program presented the details about where the trial will be developed. With that they pretend to make the “functional cure” for already infected patients.

  • The objective, as per researchers, is to erase the virus from 99,99% of the patients
  • The medical test will start its II phase in September with 36 patients
  • It will be only 3 injections which will be done directly in your lymphs

This cure already had a 94% effectiveness in the previous trial tested out with another 36 patients. The gap of this 6% is due to that the injections were put under the skin and not in the lymphs. The coordinator of this cellular therapy program of Universidad de Barcelona, Josep Canals, explained to “the vaccine will be injected directly to the lymph and not externally” which will make it more effective. The objective by Canals “is the erase the virus from 99,99% of the patients”.

The medicine will serve for “every HIV infected person“. The treatment is “fully personalised” as the the cells will be taken directly from the patient.

Canals explained that the procedure is that all pills will be taken away from the patient for the “viral load to grow” and for the infection to get heavier again. Then they will “take some blood from the patient to multiply the virus in the laboratory“.

After that the patient will start taking the pills again to lower the infection and to lower the viral load. “New blood will be taken from the patient and they will separate the dendritic cells”. Then they will mix these cells with the inactive virus which will “stimulate the dendritic cells”. This mix is the medicine that will be placed in the patient again to stimulate the immune system.

Canals says “the idea is to put each patient 3 injections and the objective is definite”, with which they will erase the virus from the body. Do keep in mind that it’s a trial in fase II and the final results will be available to confirm at the end of the trial. Anyways you do have to keep in mind that this kind of vaccines, even if they have brought good results, if the patient stops taking the treatment, the infection will grow again.

Canals believes that if this time it will work out, “people will no longer have to take any antiretrovirals”. “Even if this medicine is more expensive, the price is a log lower than a life-time taking antiretrovirals, and the side effects that they have”.

This medical trial will start in September 2015 as Canals had confirmed to the Spanish newsletter El Periodico. “The production of this medicine will stop in mid-2017. About when we should see the results, in case they will reach the 99,99% of the cure percentage, that they need to give a bit more time to the patients to confirm the results” but he adventures to say that they are hoping to have results by mid 2018

Meelis Paloson

Meelis Paloson

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I'm the Founder of Originally I'm from a tiny country called Estonia but I have been living in Barcelona, Spain since summer 2004.

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Meelis Paloson