Could HIV be cured by tackling ‘bumpy’ CD4 cells? France’s Diaccurate wants to find out
Finding a functional cure to HIV is one of the biggest challenges in modern medicine, a task made so much tougher because of the virus’s ability to incorporate itself permanently into a host’s genome.
But Diaccurate SAB, of Paris, thinks it may have a solution – and it’s all down to a discovery showing that the virus seems to make crucial immune CD4 cells go “bumpy”, lose their function and die.
It’s an idea that is so intriguing that Diaccurate has managed to bring aboard the Nobel prize winner Professor Tasuku Honjo, famously credited with the work establishing PD1 as a target in immunooncology,to chair its scientific advisory board.
Countless companies have tried and failed to find technology that can prevent the destruction of the immune system. But the team at Diaccurate, a spin-off from the Institut Pasteur in Paris, says tackling these bumpy and non-functional CD4 cells could be the answer.
Diaccurate CEO Dominique Bridon told BioWorld the foundation of the company is work done by the institute, which could also be the basis of therapies for other infectious diseases and even cancer.
At the center of the research is the discovery of the physical defect in CD4 cells, which leads to the immune system losing its function and the disease developing into full-blown AIDS.
As Bridon points out, CD4 cells are vitally important in the immune system because they provide supplies and support to the CD8 cells that do the dirty work and kill infected or malignant cells. Without CD4 to support, the “warrior” CD8 cells can’t function for any period of time and the response to disease swiftly comes to an end.
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