Newly engineered antibody attacks 99% of HIV strains

Newly engineered antibody attacks 99% of HIV strains

A team of scientists from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and pharmaceutical firm Sanofi claimed to have engineered an antibody capable of attacking 99 per cent of HIV strains and preventing infection in primates. The antidote attacks three key parts of the deadly virus, making it difficult for the virus to resist its effects.

The International Aids Society (IAS) called the engineered antidote an “exciting breakthrough” in the field of medical science.

Dr. Gary Nabel, chief scientific officer at Sanofi, said, “They are more potent and have greater breadth than any single naturally occurring antibody that's been discovered. We’re getting 99% coverage, and getting coverage at very low concentrations of the antibody.”

Scientists around the globe have been trying to use neutralizing antibodies as a way to prevent the deadly infection in the first place or too treat it.

Human trials of the antidote will likely begin sometime next year to see if it can prevent or treat HIV infection in humans as well.