For those who have spent the majority of close to the last four decades with bated breath for a cure to one of the world's most devastating viruses, you may just be able to expel a sigh of relief.
Scientists at New York's Rockefeller University recently released significant research supporting the fact that a heady combination of three antibody drugs have the revolutionary potential of suppressing HIV in infected mice.
The remarkable discovery of isolated antibodies was culled from a patient who displayed an unusually effective response against the virus – leading researchers to believe that they have hit the nail on the head they've been seeking for the last ten years. This patient is part of a small group of infected individuals – called elite controllers – who possess immune systems capable of defeating the virus by manufacturing broadly neutralizing antibodies, which can take down multiple forms of HIV.
The patient lending his blood to science was infected at least three decades ago and has developed at least three different types of broadly neutralizing antibodies that bind to three different sites on the virus. The remarkable thing about his antibodies is that they seem to complement each other's activity, completely shutting down HIV.
"This study validates the approach of using three different antibodies to control HIV infection," Natalia Freund, the study's first author said, "pointing the way toward a potential new treatment for people infected with HIV."
Rockefeller scientists have won a collective 24 Nobel Prizes and this vanguard discovery is sure to go down in history for the landmark research that was done to help the millions of lives who are currently living with HIV.