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BioNor Pharma impresses at 2014 AIDS conference

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.

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