Scientists eliminated HIV from the entire genome of lab mice for the first time ever using a slow-acting drug and gene-editing.
This two-pronged technique could be the basis for the first universal cure in humans, with human clinical trials slated to start next summer.
A team spearheaded by an HIV expert in Nebraska and a gene-editing expert in Philadelphia has presented the unprecedented fruits of a five-year project: using a slow-acting drug called LASER ART that corners the virus, followed by CRISPR Cas9 gene-editing that blitzes it.
Great right? Even they were surprised! ‘We didn’t believe it!’ Dr Howard E Gendelman, Director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, told DailyMail.com.
‘We thought it was a fluke, a problem with the graphs; that the cells carrying HIV had died; that our assay system was wrong. It was only after we repeated it a couple of different times,’ he says, that they accepted they had hit the veritable jackpot.