Computationally-developed cocktail to treat HIV drastically reduces chance of virus rebound

Using computational methods, the development of an HIV treatment cocktail based on the genetics of the virus has been found to increase the effectiveness of treatment.

Cocktails of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) developed by computational methods could be an effective new tool for treating or treating HIV and rapidly evolving pathogens, according to the results of a study published in eLife.1 By selecting specific combinations of bNAbs that analyze the virus’s genes, computer-based cocktails could make HIV treatment more effective.1

Specifically, the use of computational methods can help effectively fabricate unique combinations of bNAbs to treat other rapidly evolving pathogens as well.1

“For our study, we proposed the use of a computational approach to predict the efficacy of bNAb constructs based on HIV genes,” said Colin Lamont, PhD, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Regulation in Göttingen, Germany. press release.1

Genetically diverse HIV mutates because it copies itself quickly, and the virus copies itself at a faster rate than the immune system’s antibody response, reducing the ability of antibodies to target new strains of the virus.2

“Leveraging genetic data can help us design more effective HIV treatments.” [to target the virus]Armita Noor Muhammad, Ph.D., MSc, assistant professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Washington, Seattle, said in the press release.1

Scientists first discovered 4 rare antibodies in the 1990s that can neutralize a wide variety of strains of human immunodeficiency virus (bNAbs), and since then dozens of such antibodies have been identified.2 Doctors conducted experiments on a single bNAbs, but some strains of the ever-evolving HIV virus survived treatment and rebounded in the blood.1

Using high-throughput sequencing, Lamont and colleagues analyzed 10 years of data on HIV genes from 11 untreated HIV patients to determine which HIV strains are most likely to avoid bNAb treatment, and whether mutation of the strain is associated with cost of survival. Alive. 1 They applied these results to 3 real-world experiments to determine which bNAb groups could best prevent viral escape.1

The study authors note that bNAbs 10-1074 can protect against diverse groups of HIV because the mutated virus cannot survive either.1 In addition, PGT121 was found to be effective against a less diverse population that rarely evaded bNAb antibodies.1 Ultimately, the researchers found that a mixture of PGT121, VRC01, and PG9 proved to be the optimal blend of bNAbs, reducing the chance of virus rebound to less than 1%.1

“Combining bNAbs, which are given by injection into a vein every few months, with current antiretroviral therapies (ART) that require daily doses can improve the long-term success of HIV treatment,” Noor Muhammad said in the press release. “.1 “Our approach may also be useful in designing treatments against other rapidly evolving agents that cause disease, such as hepatitis C virus, drug-resistant bacteria, or cancerous tumor cells.”1


  • New combination therapies for HIV can prevent the virus from escaping and rebounding. domestic; July 19, 2022. Accessed July 20, 2022. %20rebound & text = carefully %20 design %20 cocktails %20 from %20 at scale, %20 study published %20 today %20 in %20eLife
  • Snow b. Widespread neutralizing antibodies. AVAC website. May 17, 2018. Accessed July 20, 2022.

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