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Author Topic: HIV CONTROLLERS: Natural Born HIV Destroyers - 2nd Major Discovery  (Read 4217 times)

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Offline zephyr

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  • Posts: 457
    • Zephyr L.T.N.P. Foundation, Inc.
Good news to report today on another discovery from the research studies focused on HIV Controllers -

Two weeks ago, a paper published by Dr. Bruce Walker and his many collaborators from around the world discusses neutralizing antibodies discovered in HIV Controllers (or, long-term non-progressors, if you will) that essentially counteracts HIV infection. (Counteract = DESTROY the 'force of' infection).

I am pasting a copy of the link, and the abstract of the paper here:


Broad diversity of neutralizing antibodies isolated from memory B cells in HIV-infected individuals
Johannes F. Scheid1,6, Hugo Mouquet1, Niklas Feldhahn1, Michael S. Seaman7, Klara Velinzon1, John Pietzsch1,8, Rene G. Ott2, Robert M. Anthony2, Henry Zebroski3, Arlene Hurley4, Adhuna Phogat9, Bimal Chakrabarti9, Yuxing Li9, Mark Connors10, Florencia Pereyra11, Bruce D. Walker11, Hedda Wardemann12, David Ho13, Richard T. Wyatt9, John R. Mascola9, Jeffrey V. Ravetch2 & Michel C. Nussenzweig1,5
1.   Laboratory of Molecular Immunology,
2.   Laboratory of Molecular Genetics and Immunology,
3.   Proteomics Resource Center,
4.   Rockefeller University Hospital, and,
5.   Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10065, USA
6.   Charite Universitaetsmedizin, D-10117 Berlin, Germany
7.   Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA
8.   Institute of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Freie Universität Berlin, D-14195 Berlin, Germany
9.   Vaccine Research Center, and,
10.   Laboratory of Immunoregulation, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA
11.   Partners AIDS Research Center, Mass General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA
12.   Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, D-10117 Berlin, Germany
13.   Aaron Diamond Aids Research Center; New York, New York 10065, USA
Correspondence to: Michel C. Nussenzweig1,5 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to M.C.N. (Email: nussen@mail.rockefeller.edu).
Antibodies to conserved epitopes on the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) surface protein gp140 can protect against infection in non-human primates, and some infected individuals show high titres of broadly neutralizing immunoglobulin (Ig)G antibodies in their serum. However, little is known about the specificity and activity of these antibodies1, 2, 3. To characterize the memory antibody responses to HIV, we cloned 502 antibodies from HIV envelope-binding memory B cells from six HIV-infected patients with broadly neutralizing antibodies and low to intermediate viral loads. We show that in these patients, the B-cell memory response to gp140 is composed of up to 50 independent clones expressing high affinity neutralizing antibodies to the gp120 variable loops, the CD4-binding site, the co-receptor-binding site, and to a new neutralizing epitope that is in the same region of gp120 as the CD4-binding site. Thus, the IgG memory B-cell compartment in the selected group of patients with broad serum neutralizing activity to HIV is comprised of multiple clonal responses with neutralizing activity directed against several epitopes on gp120.

Today, a press release was issued by a Seattle-based biopharmaceutical company, called Theraclone Sciences, Inc. to announce the development of a therapeutic vaccine for HIV infection, work that is based upon these findings:

March 30, 2009 08:00 AM

Spaltudaq Corp. Announces Identification of Broadly and Potently Neutralizing Human HIV Antibodies and Change of Company Name to Theraclone Sciences, Inc.

Keystone Symposia Global Health

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Theraclone Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company formerly known as Spaltudaq, focused on the discovery and development of human antibodies, announced results from its HIV antibody discovery program at the HIV Immunobiology Meeting of the Keystone Symposia Global Health Series earlier this week.

Theraclone has been working to identify and generate neutralizing monoclonal antibodies from rare HIV-infected patients who appear to have slow progression of their disease. Such patients are relatively rare, and, despite being infected, are clinically asymptomatic. Sera from such patient samples often have the ability to neutralize a broad range of HIV viruses, suggesting the possibility of antibodies capable of controlling HIV infection and progression.

On Monday, Theraclone announced the identification of two new antibodies that have potent neutralizing activity over a broad range of HIV viruses. After more than 15 years of research and prior to these results, only a handful of human-derived antibodies had been reported that broadly neutralize HIV in vitro. Such antibodies may be useful therapeutically and may also provide the basis to “reverse engineer” a vaccine that is capable of inducing such protective antibodies in patients.

“We are very excited about these findings,” said David Fanning, President and CEO of Theraclone. “We undertook this work to demonstrate proof-of-concept that such antibodies exist in these patients and that they are obtainable using our approach. We look forward to further testing and characterization of these antibodies as potential therapeutic candidates and to the potential identification of additional broadly and potently neutralizing antibodies in 2009 and 2010.”

Theraclone Sciences, Inc., announced that its name will be changed from Spaltudaq, effective March 30th.

“We wanted to select a name that highlights our ability to clone and express clinically relevant, naturally fully human antibodies for clinical and commercial benefit,” said David Fanning.

Theraclone’s core technology is called I-STAR™, which stands for In-Situ Therapeutic Antibody Rescue. The technology enables the discovery and synthesis of human therapeutic monoclonal antibodies directly from human memory B cells. As a class, therapeutic monoclonal antibodies represent the fastest-growing drug category. The company is focused on infectious disease and inflammation and has programs in influenza, HIV, and human cytomegalovirus.

About Theraclone Sciences, Inc.

Theraclone Sciences, Inc., is a biopharmaceutical company committed to the development and commercialization of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of infectious disease and inflammation. Theraclone is a privately held organization with venture investment from ARCH Venture Partners, Canaan Partners and Healthcare Ventures, and is headquartered in Seattle. For additional information, please visit www.theraclone-sciences.com.


Theraclone Sciences, Inc.
David Fanning, 206-805-1603

For the past 5 years, I have been convinced that HIV Controllers would play a major part in the development of a therapeutic vaccine for HIV and have essentially devoted my life to studying the topic (and contributing blood, cells and tissue samples to these studies). I want to personally thank each and every one of the members of our unique group for their contributions, as well, as the scientists finally hone in on explanations of our spontaneous control of HIV.

We are, indeed, natural born destroyers of this scourge.

Best wishes for a Happy Spring!


"It is character that communicates most eloquently."

Offline HALOO

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  • Posts: 60
Re: HIV CONTROLLERS: Natural Born HIV Destroyers - 2nd Major Discovery
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2009, 05:17:22 PM »
This is the best news in this month.

Any idea when they are going to start human trial???

Offline georgep77

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  • Posts: 150
Re: HIV CONTROLLERS: Natural Born HIV Destroyers - 2nd Major Discovery
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2009, 05:22:07 PM »
This is the best news in this month.
Yeah HALOO, thats right !!!

         Thanks Zephyr for the great news  :D
Come on Sangamo,  Geovax,  Bionor immuno, ...Make us happy !!!
+ 2008

Offline veritas

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  • Posts: 1,410
Re: HIV CONTROLLERS: Natural Born HIV Destroyers - 2nd Major Discovery
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2009, 09:30:58 AM »


HIV controllers are another avenue that CHAVI is using to look for potent mabs against hiv. The abstract you posted included many members of the CHAVI group. This is good news in that it shows that information is being shared by all parties to come up with a cure.  Here is a link to the CHAVI group for your perusal:


Looking forward to seeing more of your posts.


Offline zephyr

  • Member
  • Posts: 457
    • Zephyr L.T.N.P. Foundation, Inc.
Re: HIV CONTROLLERS: Natural Born HIV Destroyers - 2nd Major Discovery
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2009, 08:25:07 PM »
Hi V –

Your comments prompt me to talk about the incredible array of collaborators amassed by Dr. Bruce Walker (Boston – Director of the International HIV Controller Study) since his original announcement in 2006 (International AIDS Conference – Toronto) regarding a precedent-setting and cooperative arrangement between researchers from all disciplines (immunologists, geneticists, infectious disease specialists and computational and systems biologists) and the institutions which house them to ‘speed up’ discoveries.

Briefly, here is a list of collaborators involved in the International HIV Controller Study:

North America    234
South America      1
Africa                    3
Australia                2
Europe                 16     

 A total of 256 – a fantastic number, considering that the number stood at 14 at the end of 2006! If you visit the site http://www.hivcontrollers.org there is an interactive link to a world map that will list the respective collaborators around the world.

As I have continued my journey down the halls of research as a ‘subject’ and as an Advocate for Vaccine Research these past 5 years, I have come to respect how very unique Dr. Walker’s idea was, since I have learned how very competitive and secretive the arena of research used to be, before collaborations happened.  I have also come to understand that the way it used to be probably caused a large part of the delay in any successful advancements toward figuring out exactly how HIV ‘worked’ in the human body (the disciplines mentioned above rarely compared notes) and generally inhibited progress toward treatments and therapies for these past 30 years.

Today, it may just be true that we are witnessing the ‘golden age of research’ so aptly coined by Peter Staley in his blog a few weeks back – and the amazing things that can happen when brilliant minds work together toward a common goal – in this case, getting the upper hand on this devil of a virus called HIV, the most complicated and challenging virus known to man.

From the advocate’s perspective, what is also important is that members of the PLWHA community continue to get involved where they can – ENGAGE in the process – whether it be a seat on a Ryan White Planning Council, or an affiliated Consumer Advisory Board, or to just volunteer at your local ASO (AIDS Services Organization) – or participate in a clinical research trial for treatments or general research in your area. It is an amazing walk, and you never know whose life you may touch, or who you will meet.

I appreciate your link to CHAVI, thank you kindly. As for my contributing more posts, I try to come in when time permits to share information on the HIV Controller research front to let folks know that strides are indeed being made.

HALOO - Thanks for chiming in, too - and to answer your question - it may take up to 3 or 4 years (maybe more) before human trials are announced. You can figure 7 - 10 years from secure discovery to widespread circulation of ANY vaccine. Glad the post made you smile! ;)

georgep77 - Nice to hear from you, too! You are very welcome for the information.

Be well!

Loreen Willenberg
Aka ‘Zephyr’ – circa 2005/06 AidsMeds

Founder, CEO - Zephyr L.T.N.P. Foundation, Inc.
Blogger, TheBody.com
Member, ATAC (AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition)
Member, WRI (Women’s Research Initiative)
"It is character that communicates most eloquently."

Offline John2038

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  • Posts: 1,529
  • Happiness is a journey, not a destination.
    • HIV Research News (Twitter)
Re: HIV CONTROLLERS: Natural Born HIV Destroyers - 2nd Major Discovery
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2009, 06:57:08 AM »
Perhaps the best that we can do to fight HIV is the best that nature has already done. 
If so, elite controllers might be the key to show us the way to the best possible answer to HIV.

Perhaps what the nature has already done isn't the best answer:
At least, HIV seems to have been eradicated by the Dr Hutter.
Despite his technic is not applicable to treat the vast majority of us, it offer a prof of concept that HIV can be eradicated.

So my 2 cents are:

Maybe the elite controller will allows us to keep well out of meds longer.
I don't know if they are the key to a cure, as no one human have been able to self eradicate the virus (but to control it).

But what the virus can't fight is our brain: our intelligence.
And our intelligence has probably find one way to eradicate it. Others will follows, could it be after us.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2009, 06:59:56 AM by John2038 »

Offline veritas

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  • Posts: 1,410
Re: HIV CONTROLLERS: Natural Born HIV Destroyers - 2nd Major Discovery
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2009, 07:07:04 AM »


 Unfortunately, I must agree that a preventative vaccine will be a long time a coming. The virus does a lot of damage very quickly when someone is infected. To mount an immune response needed to fight off such an assult on the body will take a very powerful immune response.

 However, I do have confidence that a therapeutic is more likely to arrive sooner. By reviewing the amazing work being done by CHAVI with respect to anti-ps/pe therapy ---- specifically, the mechanism whereby exposed ps tricks the immune system into believing hiv harmless ----that certain broadly neutralizing antibodies can attach to exposed ps thus alerting the immune system to destroy the virus along with those latent cd4s infected by the virus--- gives me hope that a therapeutic is probably viable.

 Let's Hope a breakthrough, one way or another, occurs sooner rather than later.


Offline xman

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  • Posts: 328
Re: HIV CONTROLLERS: Natural Born HIV Destroyers - 2nd Major Discovery
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2009, 02:00:25 PM »
This is the best news in this month.

Any idea when they are going to start human trial???

Yes, in the year 2180
sign the petition launched by the aids policy project addressed to the nih aimed to increase the money needed to find the cure:


we can make a difference and we need to fight. please support them! it doesn't cost you anything. they need it now more than ever!

Offline georgep77

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  • Posts: 150
Re: HIV CONTROLLERS: Natural Born HIV Destroyers - 2nd Major Discovery
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2009, 09:56:03 PM »
Yes, in the year 2180
xman change ur nick for "the grinch"      ;D
Come on Sangamo,  Geovax,  Bionor immuno, ...Make us happy !!!
+ 2008


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