AIDS: French Start-up Diaccurate Makes a Major Breakthrough in HIV Treatment

In order to combat disease effectively, it is necessary to understand its mechanism of action. Researchers at the French start-up Diaccurate have just discovered how HIV can disrupt the immune system of infected people. They are paving the way for new therapeutic strategies.

HIV Virus

HIV Virus

How does the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) affect our immune system? Almost 40 years after its discovery, the question remains unanswered. But researchers at Diaccurate, a French biotechnology start-up, have just made a seemingly significant breakthrough in this field, with the support of several prestigious partners such as Institut Pasteur and Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM).

Read Also: Vaginal Daprivirine Ring Has Potential in Prevention of HIV Among Women, States EMA

It is worth remembering that almost 40 million people in the world live with HIV. This virus is unique as it directly attacks lymphocytes – especially the so-called CD4+ – the white blood cells that play a key role in immune function. It reduces their number and makes the rest dysfunctional, exposing the body to opportunistic infections and cancers.

Surprisingly, although less than 1% of CD4+ T cells are infected with the virus, they all appear to be dysfunctional. And it is this phenomenon that researchers found it difficult to explain. “Our discovery shows how the virus interacts with a patient’s enzyme to induce lymphocyte dysfunction and allow HIV to neutralize the patient’s immune response,” explains Professor Jacques Thèze, co-founder of Diaccurate, in a press release.

Towards an antibody capable of treating cancer and AIDS?

More specifically, researchers point to the role of the enzyme PLA2G1B (Phospholipase A2 Group IB) an enzyme naturally secreted by our pancreas into our digestive system. In HIV patients, CD4 lymphocytes weakened by a virus fragment – a gp41 envelope protein that binds to the lymphocytes – are found to be attacked by this enzyme. As a result, their membranes are deformed by a non-homogeneous aggregation of proteins.



Read Also: University of Utah Researchers Developed a Peptide That Can Prevent HIV Infections With Less Side Effects

This mechanism seems to explain both the reduction in the number of CD4+ T cells and their loss of efficiency. More than 80% of CD4 T cells in infected patients have morphological abnormalities. Researchers describe these cells as lumpy cells. And their discovery opens the way for new therapeutic approaches.

Diaccurate also announces that it has developed a humanized monoclonal antibody called Plazumab that neutralizes the enzyme PLA2G1B and reverses the process. This antibody is now in regulatory pre-clinical development. It may also be useful in the treatment of certain types of cancer. But the road to HIV therapy will still be long and costly.



Related Articles:

Long-Acting, Multi-Drug HIV Implant Shows Promise

So Called Virgins Could Be Spreading HIV, Herpes, HPV, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and Syphilis

HIV Eliminated with Novel Approach in Animals

Study Reveals Fat Loss Drug May Prevent Liver Disease in People Living with HIV

Delivering HIV Vaccine Over Several Days Results In A Stronger Immune Response

New Health Program to Give Uninsured Free HIV Prevention Drugs

Semen Boosts HIV Resistance in Women Sex Workers According to Study

Sexual Orientation in Men Can Affect the Intestinal Flora Which Can Raise the Risk of HIV Infection

California to Allow Pharmacies to Give out HIV Preventive Drugs Without Prescriptions




Want to Stay Informed?

Join the Gilmore Health News Newsletter!

Want to live your best life?

Get the Gilmore Health Weekly newsletter for health tips, wellness updates and more.

By clicking "Subscribe," I agree to the Gilmore Health and . I also agree to receive emails from Gilmore Health and I understand that I may opt out of Gilmore Health subscriptions at any time.