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New Research Study Explores Use Of Antibodies For HIV Prevention

The BNAB (Broadly Neutralizing Antibody) study, also known as HPTN 087/HVTN 127, explores the tolerability and the impact that an experimental antibody has on the human immune system. The antibody being explored in this study is the VCRCO7-523LS antibody. According to Dr. Kenneth Mayer, the Director of HIV Prevention Research at The Fenway Institute, “HPTN 087/HVTN 127 is a very important study, since it will be evaluating a next generation monoclonal antibody that has the potential to create a new way to protect people against HIV. The antibody is very potent, and may be able to be given every few weeks, making protection not dependent on daily oral medication, the current state of the art.”

Normally, our bodies create antibodies to fight off infections. However, the antibodies used in this study are created inside the laboratory, rather than by the human body. They are designed to fight the HIV virus. These antibodies will be administered to participants via IV infusions or injections. The antibodies used in the research studies cannot cause an HIV/AIDS infection because they do not contain HIV.

Fenway has previously been the site for a revolutionary study known as the AMP (Antibody Mediated Prevention) study. The AMP study explored the efficacy of an experimental VRC01 antibody in protecting against HIV infection. Although the results are not yet available, researchers have found that the VRC01 antibody has a short half-life, meaning it does not stay in the body for long enough, and higher doses are required.

As a result, researchers have worked hard to improve this antibody. According to The Clinical Trials Operations Manager, Rossi Fish, “Our team has really enjoyed working on antibody studies for HIV prevention over the past few years, and we are truly excited to be starting HPTN 087. What is most exciting about HPTN 087 is the fact that this antibody (VRC07) has the potential to be effective fighting different strains of HIV at lower doses than previous antibodies that have been studied. The antibody being studied in HPTN 087 could also be given through multiple administration methods, including infusions as well as injections. We are thrilled to take part in this exciting research.”

Study participants will have initial physical exams that include blood tests. Over the course of three years, participants will receive up to five antibody infusions or injections. Throughout the study, participants will be asked to keep track of how they feel. In addition, the health of all study participants will be closely monitored over the course of their enrollment.

Study participants should be healthy individuals who are HIV uninfected and between the ages of 18 and 50. For more information and to see if you may be eligible to join the study, please call 617.927.6450 or email [email protected].

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