- Sangamo Biosciences is initiating a clinical study at the City of Hope Medical Center in humans to test a gene therapy technique that the company thinks could potentially cure HIV/AIDS.
- Sangamo was given the go-ahead from the FDA to conduct the trial, as well as a $5.6 million grant from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine in May 2014.
- The therapy focuses on taking blood stem cells from HIV-infected patients and using a gene editing technique using zinc finger nucleases.
Although this is not the first time that researchers have studied gene therapy as a treatment for HIV, this is the first time that the treatment represents a potential cure.
In July 2013, researchers used a gene-editing technique on HIV-infected patients in a Phase I/II study; however, the intended treatment would function as a chronic treatment rather than a cure.
This research project is exciting because it has FDA approval and because it represents a collaboration between expert researchers at the City of Hope Medical Center in Monrovia, CA, as well as researchers at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and Sangamo.