Reliable treatment with broadly neutralizing antibodies—bNAbs—could change the future for people living with HIV. But studies have found that infusions of a single bNAb did not suppress HIV because some patients developed resistance.
Rockefeller University researchers, however, theorized that combining multiple antibodies that target distinct regions of HIV would both suppress the virus and prevent resistance. So in an NIH-supported pilot study, researhcers recruited 15 volunteers whose HIV was suppressed with antiretroviral treatment (ART) and who were sensitive to 3BNC117 and 10-1074, both potent bNAbs.
Participants received infusions of both bNAbs, stopped taking ART 2 days later, and received additional infusions 3 and 6 weeks later.
Of the 11 people who completed the study, 9 maintained viral suppression without ART for an average of 15 weeks, until the amount of bNAbs in their bodies fell below protective levels. In 2 of the 9, virus was controlled through the end of the 30-week follow-up period. The remaining 2 participants were found to harbor HIV resistant to at least 1 bNAb and experienced viral rebound before 12 weeks after stopping ART.
The researchers are enrolling people with HIV in a larger study to determine an optimal regimen of bNAbs.