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September 4, 2009

A New Simpler Gene Therapy for HIV

"Anderson’s group has developed a hybrid gene delivery device that doesn’t require taking cells out of the body. Instead, they have taken a naturally occurring genetic splicing molecule, called interfering RNA, packaged it inside a hollowed-out Sindbis virus and attached a monoclonal antibody to the surface so that these viral delivery devices (called a vector) interact only with the immune cells the team wants them to genetically alter.

"Thus far, the team members have conducted two successful sets of experiments. In the first, they proved that their gene therapy can deliver the genetic payload to CD4 cells and cause them to stop making CCR5. They then tried injecting the gene therapy into specially bred mice that have human immune cells. Two weeks after the injections, the human immune cells in the mice no longer had CCR5 receptors, and the cells were highly resistant to HIV infection."

Read more in POZ, September 3, 2009.