Authored by James Sheppard
The Oslo based biotech company BioNor Pharma recently announced the results of its REDUC trial. The topline results from part A of the trial demonstrated that the HDAX inhibitor (HIDACi) romidepsin is able to activate latent HIV reservoirs.
The trial combines BioNor’s vaccine candidate Vacc-4x with the cancer drug romidepsin. Romidepsin is also known as Istodax and is supplied by Celgene. BioNor announced the results of Part A of the trials which was designed to assess the safety and effect on HIV. The results showed that romidepsin successfully increased the virus production in HIV-infected cells between 2.1 and 3.9 times above normal. Of the 6 patients 5 showed the viral load had increased to measurable levels.
This approach to HIV treatment is known as ‘kick-kill.’ Firstly the virus is ‘kicked’ out of reservoirs making the HIV infected cells visable to the immune system. This should allow the immune response generated by Vacc-4x to attack and eliminate the infected cells.