The researchers found a way to tether HIV-fighting antibodies to immune cells, thereby creating a cell population resistant to the virus. These experiments were conducted in a laboratory and they show that the resistant cells were able to replace the cells infected with HIV.
The new technique offers a great advantage over therapies where antibodies float freely in the bloodstream at a relatively low concentration, the researchers explained. In the new study, antibodies hang on to a cell's surface, blocking HIV from accessing a crucial cell receptor and spreading the infection. The researchers plan to collaborate with investigators at City of Hope which is an independent research and treatment centre for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases in the United States to evaluate the effectiveness of this new therapy and conduct safety tests, as required by federal regulations before they decide to test this in patients.