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October 7, 2009

World’s First Engineered T Cell Receptor Trial Opens with New Cellular Therapy for HIV

"Researchers at Adaptimmune Limited and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, today announced the approval of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and opening for enrollment of the first ever study using patients’ cells carrying an engineered T cell receptor to treat HIV (SL9  HA-GAG-TCR). The trial may have important implications in the development of new treatments for HIV potentially slowing – or even preventing – the onset of AIDS.
The trial makes use of the body’s natural ability to recognize infected cells by enhancing the power of the T cell receptor (TCR) on killer T cells. ...

Last year, with colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania, theyengineered and tested a killer T-cell receptor that can recognize all the different disguises HIV is known to have used to evade detection. The researchers transferred this receptor to the killer T-cells to create genetically engineered "bionic assassins" able to destroy HIV-infected cells in culture. Now, less than a year later, they are taking their unique technology into the clinic. ..."

Read more in Penn Medicine News, October 7, 2009.