Level of immune response correlates directly with significant viral load reduction levels
SEEK, a privately-owned UK pharmaceutical group, announces today that results from its HIV Phase Ib immunotherapy trial have been published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Vaccine.
Commenting on the announcement, Gregory Stoloff, CEO of SEEK Group said: “We are very pleased that Vaccine has published the results on the HIV-v immunotherapy Phase Ib trial. These data show that HIV-v has potential as an immunotherapeutic anti-viral agent in treating HIV. We are very pleased to see that other researchers, such as Harvard  and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases , are also pursuing the approach of creating antibodies to target conserved regions of the virus.”
SEEK’s HIV immunotherapy triggers the immune system’s cellular and antibody responses to selectively identify and kill HIV infected cells. The most exciting aspect of this therapy is that it directs the immune system towards short, highly conserved regions of proteins produced by most circulating HIV strains. The triggered immune responses are highly effective both independently and in combination.
The immunotherapy offers an advantage over anti-retroviral medicines; it not only slows down the viral replication but also causes the cells that house the virus to be destroyed. This implies that the immunotherapy should be able to deal with the latency of the virus, an area of focus and interest to date. The antibodies from the HIV immunotherapy target and bind to conserved regions of HIV proteins that are presented on the cell surface of HIV infected cells. Macrophages and T cells then destroy the cells housing the virus which eliminates the latent viruses within that cell.
Research from Harvard Medical School and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases showed that an antibody to conserved regions of the virus was effective in reducing viral load in rhesus macaques. SEEK’s study showed it is effective in humans as well.
Since this antibody targets a conserved HIV protein expressed on the surface of infected tissue rather than on the virus itself, it is able to eliminate the virus in infected tissue and eliminate the latent virus.
SEEK is in discussions with potential partners to collaborate with on the immunotherapy.
The publication, “Safety, immunogenicity and efficacy assessment of HIV immunotherapy in a multi-centre, double-blind, randomised, Placebo-controlled Phase Ib human trial”, Vaccine Volume 31, Issue 48, 19 November 2013, can be found at the following URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X13013273
 Harvard Medical School, US. Therapeutic efficacy of potent neutralizing HIV-1-specific monoclonal antibodies in SHIV-infected rhesus monkeys. Nature (2013)
 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, US. Antibody-mediated immunotherapy of macaques chronically infected with SHIV suppresses viraemia. Nature (2013)
– ENDS –
For more information please contact:
Gregory Stoloff, CEO, SEEK – Tel +44 (0)20 7153 6570
Mary Clark / Hollie Vile / Supriya Mathur – Tel +44 (0)20 3440 5654
Founded in 2004, SEEK (previously known as PepTcell) is privately-owned and funded, with headquarters in London, UK. SEEK brings safe and low costs medicines to the patients as quickly as possible. It does this by modifying existing medicines to improve their efficacy within current label, dose and regime, by changing the indication but keeping the dose and dosing regime the same or by creating a new medicine when the previous options are unavailable.
Additional information about SEEK is available on the Company’s website located at www.seekacure.com