Sept. 10, 2012
/PRNewswire/ -- Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: SGMO) announced that data from its Phase 1 clinical programs to develop SB-728-T, a novel therapeutic approach designed to generate a "functional cure" for HIV/AIDS, were presented at the 52
Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC). The meeting is being held in
"The immunologic data presented at ICAAC have predictive implications for the success of this exciting new therapeutic approach to HIV and the realization of a 'functional cure' for the disease," commented Rafick-Pierre Sékaly, Ph.D., Co-Director & Chief Scientific Officer, the Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of
(VGTI Florida), whose laboratory carried out the analysis. "SB-728-T treatment results in an unprecedented and durable increase in CD4+ cells. Importantly, our analysis shows that this is primarily due to the expansion of CD4+ T-cell types that are vital for the successful reconstitution of the immune system in HIV-infected individuals - the central and transitional memory cells."
"These data are very important because CD4 T-cells, especially memory T-cells, are precisely the cell type that we would want to protect and expand to enable HIV-infected individuals to control infections, and HIV, without antiretroviral drugs," added
, M.D., Sangamo's vice president of therapeutic development and chief medical officer. "Our aim is to provide a protected reservoir of immune memory cells to replenish the cells killed by HIV and to generate an effective immune response against the virus and opportunistic infections. Central and transitional memory T-cells remember previously encountered foreign invaders, such as viruses or bacteria. These cells can survive in the body for the individual's lifetime, and when they re-encounter the same antigen they reactivate, producing a faster and stronger immune response than the previous encounter. SB-728-T seems to both expand the total memory pool, and by CCR5 modification, protect a proportion of that pool from HIV entry, suggesting that SB-728 treatment has the potential to reconstitute and protect an effective and durable immune system in HIV-infected individuals."
SB-728-T is generated by ZFN-mediated modification of the gene encoding the CCR5 receptor in a patient's own T-cells, disrupting the expression of this key co-receptor for HIV entry and rendering the modified cells resistant to HIV infection.