HIV is definitely under the spotlight today. Just after Theravectys’ announcement about its phase I/II success, InnaVirVax completed a third funding round to accelerate its Phase 2 clinical development. The first-in-class immunotherapy designed to treat HIV infections gained further support by all the historical investors in the company.
Since 1987, HIV has mainly been treated with a combination of distinct antiretrovirals. These drugs efficiently reduce HIV levels in the blood and prevent the disease from breaking out for many years. However, this therapy can’t completely eradicate the virus. The immune system remains active and patients frequently suffer from chronic inflammation processes that can cause secondary diseases.
With its lead candidate VAC-3S, InnaVirVax aims at protecting the immune system in patients treated with antiretrovirals. The drug is given through the company’s vaccine platform, which generates human polyclonal antibodies against 3S, a subunit of the HIV. With the aid of 3S, the virus binds to a certain entity of CD4+ T cells and eventually initiates their apoptosis, as shown in the following gif file:
When the vaccine VAC-3S targets the 3S unit,