Innovative Bioresearch has announced the publication of a pioneering pilot study in the MDPI journal Vaccines, in which a novel cell-based HIV therapy using the SupT1 cell line as a decoy target for HIV-1 was explored, for the first time, in an in vivo animal model.

As observed in a previous in vitro study performed by the same author, Jonathan Fior, who conceived this innovative approach, when primary CD4+ T cells are infected with HIV in the presence of SupT1 cells, the preferential infection of SupT1 cells can spare primary CD4+ T cells from infection and depletion. Accordingly, a possible approach to cure HIV could be represented by the strategy of infusing irradiated SupT1 cells into the patient to move HIV infection toward the inoculated cells, which should prevent infection and depletion of the patient's own CD4+ T cells and, therefore, AIDS.

For testing in vivo this potential HIV therapy, Hu-PBMC BRGS mice were chosen as animal model and experiments were performed by state-of-the-art service company AXENIS. The animals were infected with a high input of HIV-1 LAI followed by weekly SupT1 cell infusions as an HIV treatment over a 4-week study period. Analysis of the results revealed some interesting tendencies in the generated data, such as significantly lower viral replication (~10-fold) and potentially preserved CD4+ T cell frequency at Week 1 in all animals treated with SupT1 cell infusion. Of note, one animal exhibited a sustained decrease in HIV replication and CD4+ T cell depletion (no virus detected anymore at Weeks 3 and 4), a result that may hold the key to future HIV treatments.

As explained in Jonathan Fior's papers, SupT1 cells have been shown to have a very powerful vaccination effect in vitro. Upon prolonged replication in these cells, the HIV virus evolves toward a less virulent phenotype with a reduced capacity for syncytium formation and a higher sensitivity to neutralization, and most notably it adapts so well to replicate in SupT1 cells that it gradually loses the ability to replicate in normal cells. This phenomenon could harbor a significant therapeutic potential that could be exploited with SupT1 cell infusion therapy. Owner of Innovative Bioresearch, Jonathan Fior is the leading research scientist in exploring this novel therapeutic approach.

Article: SupT1 Cell Infusion as a Possible Cell-Based Therapy for HIV: Results from a Pilot Study in Hu-PBMC BRGS Mice, Jonathan Fior, Vaccines, doi:10.3390/vaccines4020013, published 26 April 2016.