- For drug discovery strategy:
- Single administration or combination with ART can achieve the radical or functional* cure for HIV infection(*After ART discontinuation, plasma viral load remains undetectable level.)
- With regard to drug discovery strategy, proof of concept must be able to begin within 2 years using, for example, simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected monkey models (separate discussion will be necessary, however, for drug discovery strategy unverifiable with monkey models, such as one including HIV specific antibody)
- For analysis method:
- Must be able to sensitively, rapidly, and accurately analyze the size of latent HIV-1 reservoirs permissive for propagation
- Culture is not needed before measurement
- Proof of concept must be able to begin within 2 years, at the latest, using, for example, SIV-infected monkey models
- In addition to the reservoir size analysis method, a technology that can easily identify propagable viruses is also welcomed, e.g. a technology which can improve a current analysis method sensitivity and its accuracy by double digits or more.
HIV is a virus responsible for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Reportedly, there are now more than 36 million people infected worldwide. Thanks to the advancement of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), HIV infection is no longer a fatal disease. To control HIV, however, ART must be continued throughout life.
After entering the body, HIV, which utilizes the host cell’s machinery to make their own copies, inserts its genetic blueprint into the DNA of a host cell, such as a CD4 T immune cell, then starts producing HIV proteins that act as the building blocks for new HIV. However, some HIV-infected cells go into a latent state and are not actively producing HIV, which is called a latent HIV reservoir. Latent HIV reservoirs can continue to survive even under ART, thus the discontinuation of ART triggers viral propagation in the body. These machineries prevent complete HIV elimination.
Recently, many methods are studied to reduce the size of latent HIV-1 reservoirs to zero or significantly, including the ‘kick & kill’ strategy. Unfortunately, no method achieves to eliminate HIV completely yet.
The achievement of HIV eradication would contribute to free society from the threat of AIDS and reduction medical expenses. In order to solve such a social issue together with promising organization, this client has issued this open request.