Scientists have just made an “exciting breakthrough” in the form of a new antibody that can attack 99% of HIV strains.
The study, which was conducted by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the pharmaceutical company Sanofi, created the antibody to attack three major parts of the virus, making it hyper-effective in preventing infection.
Even the most advanced naturally-occurring antibodies usually only have a 90% success rate in preventing HIV infection. The antibodies used in this trial, however, are actually a combination of three antibodies – all of which are super effective in targeting large numbers of different HIV strains.
These “tri-specific antibodies” are infinitely more effective in preventing infection than any antibody that a human could naturally produce on its own.
“The findings suggest that combination therapies might be essential to prevent HIV in people,” says the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “Animals receiving either of the two broadly-neutralizing HIV-1 antibodies individually all became infected, yet passively immunizing the primates with both antibodies together conferred 100% protection.”
Human trials of the research are expected to begin in 2018.
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