Study of potential HIV 'cure' wins FDA nod

Ron Leuty
Original Article:

Researchers received the go-ahead from federal regulators to test a gene-editing technique in humans that could jam a doorknob used by the AIDS virus and produce a "functional cure" for the disease.

The trial at the City of Hope medical center will take blood-producing stem cells from patients infected with HIV and use a kind of molecular scissors — enzymes called zinc finger nucleases — to edit a protein that the virus uses to infect cells. The method was developed by Richmond’s Sangamo BioSciences Inc. (NASDAQ: SGMO).?

The trial is not the first gene-editing technology to reach human clinical trials — Calimmune in July 2013 treated its first patient in a Phase I/II study using a different gene-editing method, for example — but it is significant because it potentially could lead to a cure, rather than chronic treatment, for HIV.

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