Evry, 1st March 2013 – InnaVirVax, a biopharmaceutical company specialised in the research and development of therapeutic and diagnostic innovations focused on immune dysregulation, today announced the publication of a new scientific article in the prestigious journal JAIDS (Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes) (http://journals.lww.com/jaids/toc/2012/11010).
Although it is known that the immunodeficiency of HIV-1-infected patients results from a progressive loss of their CD4 T-lymphocytes, a key factor in progression of the disease and the pathogenicity of this virus, the authors* have highlighted the protective effects of antibodies directed against the 3S peptide (a short peptide that is highly conserved in the HIV-1 gp41 envelope protein) with respect to CD4 depletion during the first years following a patient's seroconversion.
The study published in JAIDS concerned 244 untreated HIV-1 seroconverted patients followed in the context of the Anrs CO2 Seroco cohort, which is funded by the ANRS (the French National Agency for Research on AIDS and Viral Hepatitis).
The results revealed that the presence of high anti-3S antibody levels at the time of seronconversion constituted a factor predictive of protection during the first three years after infection, and a less marked depletion of CD4 cells. It should be noted that this positive effect was completely independent of the baseline viral load and CD4 count.
Thus, in a seroconverted patient with a high level of antibodies directed against the 3S peptide, the study demonstrated that these antibodies disappeared relatively rapidly and the CD4 cells were protected in a sustainable manner: three years later, a CD4 count higher by 100/mm3 was indeed observed.
These findings associated INSERM and University researchers (two Joint Research Units: INSERM-Université Pierre et Marie Curie and Inserm–Université Paris Sud) and InnaVirVax. They were entirely consistent with the VAC-3S immunotherapy being developed by InnaVirVax, which aims to induce high levels of antibodies directed against the 3S peptide, thus protecting CD4 cells in HIV-1-infected patients.
Dr. Vincent Viellard, CNRS Research Director in Inserm-Université Pierre et Marie Curie Joint Research Unit U945 declared: “These results consolidate the pathogenic process that is orchestrated by HIV by rendering CD4 cells susceptible to controlled destruction by Natural Killer cells. The clinical correlations reinforce the relevance of this mechanism of action”.
Joël Crouzet, CEO of InnaVirVax added: ”This new publication has strengthened the scientific rationale and clinical correlates regarding protection against the progression of HIV infection thanks to the presence of anti-3S antibodies. We should remember that by identifying and characterising the 3S peptide, the founders of InnaVirVax were responsible for discovering the mechanism responsible for the cell death of CD4+ T-lymphocytes in HIV-infected patients. The results observed and published in JAIDS provide sustainable confirmation of our therapeutic strategy which consists in the development of VAC-3S and the induction of high levels of anti-3S antibodies in patients in order to preserve their immune defences alongside antiretroviral drugs”.
* Specific Anti-gp41 Antibodies Predict HIV-1 Disease Progression
Dr. Vincent Vieillard (INSERM, UMR-S 945, UPMC ; AP-HP, Pitié-Salpêtrière), Dr Joël Crouzet (InnaVirVax), Dr Faroudy Boufassa ((INSERM U822 Service d'Epidémiologie, Le Kremlin Bicêtre)), Alexis Sennepin (INSERM, UMR-S 945) Raphaël Ho Tsong Fang (InnaVirVax),, Dr Patrice Debré (Département d’Immunologie AP-HP Pitié – Salpêtrière), et Dr Laurence Meyer (INSERM, U1018, Univ Paris Sud, AP-HP, Le Kremlin Bicêtre).
Based at the Genopole® in Evry, InnaVirVax is a biopharmaceutical company specialized in the research and development of innovative therapeutic and diagnostic medical solutions for conditions related to immune dysregulation. The company has developed a portfolio of innovative projects in the fields of oncology and HIV. Since it was incorporated in 2008, InnaVirVax has received backing from the French Ministry for Higher Education and Research, OSEO, the National Research Agency, the Ile-de-France Centre for Innovation and other investors which include CapDecisif, G1J Ile-de-France, Pradeyrol Development, FaDièse and the Regional Co-Investment Fund for the Paris Region.
For more information, please go to: www.innavirvax.fr