Broadly neutralizing antibodies for treatment and prevention of HIV-1 infection

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Several anti-HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) with exceptional breadth and potency that target different HIV-1 envelope epitopes have been identified. bNAbs are an attractive new strategy for HIV-1 prevention and therapy, and potentially, for long-term remission or cure. Here, we discuss findings from early clinical studies that have evaluated these novel bNAbs.

Recent findings

Phase 1 studies of bNAbs targeting two distinct HIV-1 envelope epitopes have demonstrated their favorable safety and pharmacokinetic profile. Single bNAb infusions led to significant, but transient, decline in viremia with selection of escape variants. A single bNAb also delayed viral rebound in ART-treated participants who discontinued ART. Importantly, in-vivo efficacy was related to antibody potency and to the level of preexisting resistance. Studies in animal models showed that bNAbs can clear HIV-infected cells and modulate host immune responses. These findings suggest that bNAbs may target the latent HIV reservoir in humans and could contribute to long-term remission of HIV-1 infection.

Summary

bNAbs may offer advantages over traditional ART for both the prevention and treatment of HIV-1 infection. In addition, bNAbs may target the latent viral reservoir. bNAb combinations and bNAbs engineered for prolonged half-life and increased potency are currently undergoing clinical evaluation.

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