Biotron (ASX:BIT) says a recently published scientific paper validates it approach of using its lead clinical compound, BIT225, to target the elimination of HIV-1 in macrophages.
The study, published in the Nature Medicine, reported humanised mice infection with HIV-1 establish the persistent infection of virus in tissue macrophages despite treatment with antiretroviral therapy (cART).
“One major barrier to eradication (of HIV-1) is that the virus infects multiple cell types that may individually contribute to HIV persistence. Tissue macrophages are critical contributors to HIV pathogenesis," said the authors.
According to Biotron managing director, Dr Michelle Miller, “The results from this study upholds Biotron’s approach to treatment of HIV-1 infection. BIT225 specifically targets HIV-1 in macrophages. This recently reported study clearly demonstrates the need for new drugs to eradicate the virus in this persistent reservoir.”
A Phase 2 clinical trial of BIT 225 in combination with cART in HIV-1 infected patients is currently in progress. The trial has been designed to demonstrate that BIT225 provides an antiviral benefit over and above that of cART, by targeting HIV-1 in macrophage reservoirs. The trial is expected to be complete in the 3Q17, with preliminary headline data anticipated shortly thereafter.