Science News
from research organizations

Antibody supresses HIV in infected individuals

November 10, 2016
University of Alabama at Birmingham
The antibody VRC01 proves safe for individuals infected with HIV-1, but only modestly controls the virus in participants who stop receiving antiretroviral therapy, report scientists.

The administration of VRC01, a potent and broadly neutralizing HIV-specific antibody, is safe, is well-tolerated, generated high plasma concentrations and modestly delayed the return of HIV viral rebound in HIV-1 infected individuals after they stopped receiving antiretroviral therapy, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the National Institutes of Health and the University of Pennsylvania Penn Center for AIDS Research.

"Monoclonal antibodies are revolutionizing our approach to many diseases in oncology and rheumatolgy," said Edgar T. Overton, M.D., co-director of the UAB Alabama Vaccine Research Clinic. "In this study, we tested whether a broadly neutralizing antibody against HIV could stop replicating virus. While a single antibody only modestly delayed viral rebound, we demonstrated that this strategy can be improved and potentially lead us to effective therapeutic HIV vaccine strategies. We are excited to pursue this approach in our ongoing efforts to end the HIV epidemic."

Two clinical trials were conducted under the National Institutes of Health and the AIDS Clinical Trials Group in 24 HIV-1 infected individuals undergoing analytical treatment interruption, which measures changes in immunological response. The open-label trial in which both the researchers and participants were aware of the administered treatment showed that markers of of HIV virus replication were surpressed for at least four weeks after the VRC01 was administered and HIV treatment was stopped, but all participants failed to maintain durable viral suppression in the absence of antiretroviral therapy.

Further studies looking at more potent antibodies and combinations of bNAbs like VRC01 will likely be required to achieve sustained remission of the virus in HIV-1 infected individuals after halting ART.

"We are excited to be on the forefront of the global efforts to end AIDS," Overton said.

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Alabama at Birmingham. Original written by Alicia Rohan. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Katharine J. Bar, Michael C. Sneller, Linda J. Harrison, J. Shawn Justement, Edgar T. Overton, Mary E. Petrone, D. Brenda Salantes, Catherine A. Seamon, Benjamin Scheinfeld, Richard W. Kwan, Gerald H. Learn, Michael A. Proschan, Edward F. Kreider, Jana Blazkova, Mark Bardsley, Eric W. Refsland, Michael Messer, Katherine E. Clarridge, Nancy B. Tustin, Patrick J. Madden, KaSaundra Oden, Sijy J. O’Dell, Bernadette Jarocki, Andrea R. Shiakolas, Randall L. Tressler, Nicole A. Doria-Rose, Robert T. Bailer, Julie E. Ledgerwood, Edmund V. Capparelli, Rebecca M. Lynch, Barney S. Graham, Susan Moir, Richard A. Koup, John R. Mascola, James A. Hoxie, Anthony S. Fauci, Pablo Tebas, Tae-Wook Chun. Effect of HIV Antibody VRC01 on Viral Rebound after Treatment Interruption. New England Journal of Medicine, 2016; DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1608243

Cite This Page:

University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Antibody supresses HIV in infected individuals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 November 2016. <>.
University of Alabama at Birmingham. (2016, November 10). Antibody supresses HIV in infected individuals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from
University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Antibody supresses HIV in infected individuals." ScienceDaily. (accessed May 23, 2017).