Texas Biomed files patent for a novel HIV vaccine strategy

The Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio has applied for a patent for a genetically-engineered vaccine strategy to prevent HIV infection that targets the outer layers of body structures that are the first sites of contact with the virus.

Designed to be a single dose and last a lifetime, the vaccine will lead to the continual production of disease-fighting cells without being eliminated by the immune system. Another feature of the vaccine system is that it could be adapted for use against other infections.

More than 90 percent of new HIV infections worldwide are transmitted by through outer layers of cells called epithelial cells which line the surfaces of structures throughout the body. The new vaccine is directed to what are known as the mucosal layers of the epithelium in the genital and rectal areas where the virus enters the body.

"The development of an effective that restricts at the mucosal level of entry may be our best hope for controlling the HIV pandemic," said Marie-Claire Gauduin, Ph.D., of Texas Biomed's Department of Virology and Immunology, who is a co-inventor on the patent with Philippe Blancou, Ph.D., a visiting scientist from the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, France. "Only life-long stimulation of the immune system by the vaccine will be sufficient to achieve long-term protection," she added.

One of the main reasons for the failure of HIV vaccines thus far is their inability to deliver antibody-producing cells for prolonged periods of time, thus only achieving weak and transient protection at best.

The primary target for through different mucosal sites varies depending on the tissue. However, soon after crossing the mucosal layer, HIV rapidly spreads to lymph nodes and other organs where it replicates.

The will have a molecule and stem cell gene tagged to target epithelial cells, that combined, will promote the production of antibody-producing cells. Thus, the epithelial layer will continuously release new antibody-producing cells and not be eliminated by the body's immune response.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How HIV vaccine might have increased odds of infection

Nov 03, 2008

In September 2007, a phase II HIV-1 vaccine trial was abruptly halted when researchers found that the vaccine may have promoted, rather than prevented, HIV infection. A new study by a team of researchers at the Montpellier ...

Exhausted B cells hamper immune response to HIV

Jul 14, 2008

Recent studies have shown that HIV causes a vigorous and prolonged immune response that eventually leads to the exhaustion of key immune system cells--CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells--that target HIV. These tired cells become less ...

Recommended for you

New study reveals why some people may be immune to HIV-1

Nov 20, 2014

Doctors have long been mystified as to why HIV-1 rapidly sickens some individuals, while in others the virus has difficulties gaining a foothold. Now, a study of genetic variation in HIV-1 and in the cells ...

Virus discovery could impact HIV drug research

Nov 20, 2014

A research team led by Portland State University (PSU) biology professor Ken Stedman has unlocked the structure of an unusual virus that lives in volcanic hot springs. The discovery could pave the way for better drugs to ...

UN warns over threat of AIDS rebound

Nov 19, 2014

South African actress Charlize Theron threw her weight Tuesday behind an urgent new UN campaign to end AIDS as a global health threat by 2030.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.