Experiment in monkeys raises hopes of “functional cure” for HIV

By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) – A new drug combination helped stave off a monkey version of HIV for nearly two years after stopping all treatments, raising hopes for a functional cure for HIV, U.S. researchers said on Thursday. The treatment involved standard HIV drugs, known as antiretroviral therapy or ART, plus an experimental antibody that hits the same target as Takeda Pharmaceutical’s Entyvio, a drug approved in more than 50 countries for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The findings, published Thursday in the journal Science, are promising enough that scientists at the National Institutes of Health, which funded the research, have already begun testing the Takeda drug, known generically as vedolizumab, in people newly infected with HIV.
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