Novel method to create personalized immunotherapy treatments

August 5, 2008

Argos Therapeutics and Université de Montréal today announced the presentation of new information on Argos' process for developing dendritic cell-based immunotherapies for HIV. Results from the study demonstrate that loading monocyte-derived dendritic cells with combinations of HIV antigen RNA stimulates the expansion of HIV-specific T cells, which attack and kill HIV-infected cells.

Argos' immunotherapies are generated by the Company's Arcelis™ technology, which is a platform for creating autologous, RNA-loaded dendritic cell-based therapies perfectly matched to each patient's unique virus. These data were presented in an oral poster discussion August 5, 2008 at the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City.

"A key step in the durable control of HIV infection requires enhancing the development of memory immune responses and the stimulation of potent cytotoxic T cells through therapeutic vaccination," said Charles Nicolette, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Argos. "Working with our colleagues at the Université de Montréal, we have shown that Argos' approach of transfecting dendritic cells with autologous, HIV-specific antigens effectively activates dendritic cells and enhances the HIV-specific T cell response. We believe that these results support our methods of developing potent immunotherapies that help patients' immune systems more effectively fight HIV infection."

The inability of the immune system to effectively mount a response against HIV may be caused by a defect in the maturation of T cell memory. To explore this hypothesis, researchers from Dr. Rafick-Pierre Sékaly's laboratory at the Université de Montréal and Argos tested whether modified dendritic cells, derived from monocytes of HIV-infected individuals, could correct the defective maturation of HIV-specific CD8 T-cells responsible for virus eradication. To potentially improve the magnitude and quality of the anti-HIV T-cell response, maturing dendritic cells were transfected with mRNA-encoding autologous HIV sequences combined with mRNA encoding immune modulatory molecules. These modified dendritic cells were then tested for their ability to expand and mature T cell responses in vitro.

The results of these recent assessments, presented for the first time at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico, show that this novel product induces greater proliferation, maturation and differentiation of HIV-specific CD8 cells in vitro. These properties, especially expanding memory cells, required for long term protection against pathogens, may represent an improvement worthy of future of clinical development.

"We believe that this improvement may represent a significant step forward," said Dr. Sékaly, professor of immunology at the Université de Montréal. "The fact that we can stimulate a specific, long-term immune response gives us great hope that, with additional development, we will be able to give people infected with HIV a new option to battle the virus."

Source: University of Montreal

Explore further: Cancer vaccines need to target T cells that can persist in the long fight against cancer

Related Stories

Cancer vaccines need to target T cells that can persist in the long fight against cancer

September 25, 2017
Cancer vaccines may need to better target T cells that can hold up to the long fight against cancer, scientists report.

Dendritic cells of elite controllers able to recognize, mount defense against HIV

June 11, 2015
Investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard have added another piece to the puzzle of how a small group of individuals known as elite controllers are able to control ...

Researchers identify HIV-inhibiting mechanism

June 29, 2011
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have discovered a long-sought cellular factor that works to inhibit HIV infection of myeloid cells, a subset of white blood cells that display antigens and ...

Scientists discover how HIV virus gains access to carrier immune cells to spread infection

December 18, 2012
Scientists from the AIDS Research Institute IrsiCaixa have identified how HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, enters the cells of the immune system enabling it to be dispersed throughout an organism. The new study is published ...

Research offers a new approach to improving HIV vaccines

June 4, 2015
In a scientific discovery that has significant implications for preventing HIV infections, researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) have identified a protein that could improve the body's ...

Low cholesterol in immune cells tied to slow progression of HIV

April 29, 2014
People infected with HIV whose immune cells have low cholesterol levels experience much slower disease progression, even without medication, according to University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health research ...

Recommended for you

Scientists find where HIV 'hides' to evade detection by the immune system

October 19, 2017
In a decades-long game of hide and seek, scientists from Sydney's Westmead Institute for Medical Research have confirmed for the very first time the specific immune memory T-cells where infectious HIV 'hides' in the human ...

National roll-out of PrEP HIV prevention drug would be cost-effective

October 18, 2017
Providing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication to men who have sex with men who are at high risk of HIV infection (equivalent to less than 5% of men who have sex with men at any point in time) in England would be cost-effective, ...

Regulatory T cells harbor HIV/SIV virus during antiviral drug treatment

October 17, 2017
Scientists at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University have identified an additional part of the HIV reservoir, immune cells that survive and harbor the virus despite long-term treatment with antiviral drugs.

New research opens the door to 'functional cure' for HIV

October 17, 2017
In findings that open the door to a completely different approach to curing HIV infections, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have for the first time shown that a novel compound effectively ...

Researchers create molecule that could 'kick and kill' HIV

October 5, 2017
Current anti-AIDS drugs are highly effective at making HIV undetectable and allowing people with the virus to live longer, healthier lives. The treatments, a class of medications called antiretroviral therapy, also greatly ...

A sixth of new HIV patients in Europe 50 or older: study

September 27, 2017
People aged 50 and older comprise a growing percentage of HIV patients in Europe, accounting for one in six new cases in 2015, researchers said Wednesday.

0 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.