In preclinical testing at the Masonic Cancer Center a the University of Minnesota, a series of Bi and Tri Specific killer-engager (BiKE and TriKE) constructs were tested as a means to direct natural killer cells against an HIV infected target, and were found to destroy HIV cells.
BiKE and TriKE based therapies have been studied at the Masonic Cancer Center for many years, with an emphasis on treating cancer and leukemia. Researchers at MCC are hoping that this approach will also eventually develop into a permanent cure for HIV.
CEO Anthony Cataldo stated “..The current drugs available to HIV patients only treat the symptoms of HIV at a massive economic cost. They remain infected for the rest of their lives on these drugs and at risk for serious infections and certain cancers, while still being infectious to others. The TriKE/BiKE represents the possibility of a cure.”
“Individuals well controlled on anti-retroviral therapy are not cured and dependent on continuous use of their medications. The challenge in the HIV field is to target the reservoir where HIV hides in tissue CD4 T cells and to destroy those sanctuary sites,” stated Dr. Schacker.
“We have constructed a TriKE with an IL-15 linker that we believe will target NK cells to HIV infected CD4 T cells with the potential to eliminate the HIV reservoir” stated Dr. Jeffrey Miller.
For more information you can see GT Biopharma’s press release here.