LOS ANGELES, May 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- (NASDAQ: ENOB) – A novel approach to HIV cell therapy developed by Dr. Serhat Gumrukcu (Dr. Serhat), Director of the Seraph Research Institute (SRI), and his team was presented yesterday as a new approach to treating HIV in humans. The research findings and developments were presented at the 2021 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) to thousands of industry attendees.
The presentation profiled A 54-year-old man with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), who was not completely suppressing the virus under antiretroviral therapy (ART). The patient showed promising results when treated with this new novel cell therapy approach.
"Great advances have been made in the treatment of many disease states including HIV, with immune-based therapies," says Dr. Phillip Musikanth, HIV specialist and Medical Director of Seraph Medical. "We have yet to master eliminating HIV from the human host. Our novel approach here offers some new insights to try and achieve this goal by applying immune-based strategies."
Working in collaboration with the Seraph Research Institute, and under the oversight of an independent Institutional Review Board (IRB), the patient was treated by Dr. Musikanth at SRI's clinical site Seraph Medical. Dr. Musikanth used an adoptive cell therapy involving natural killer (NK) and gamma delta T-cells (gdT), collected from a healthy donor.
The treatment commenced with interrupting the patient's antiretroviral medications and administering preliminary supportive medications to ready the body for the new cell therapy. This resulted in an expected initial rise in the level of HIV detected in the bloodstream.
Approximately three weeks after the new treatment commenced, the patient's HIV levels began to decline. At the 100-day mark, his viral load was below the level of detection (<20 copies/ml). To this day, over one year from the start of the new cell therapy treatment, the patient continues to go without antiretroviral medications and his HIV levels have remained at or below the detectable level.
The idea of using alloreactive immune cells to effectively eliminate any undesirable targets, like cancer, was pioneered in 1986 by Dr. Shimon Slavin in Israel. He initially developed this immunotherapy to treat chemotherapy-resistant cancers. "Having worked on creating novel cell therapies for the past 5 decades, I think the treatment developed at the Seraph Research Institute has great potential to eliminate HIV- infected cells and educate the immune system to fight the virus in new ways," says Dr. Slavin.
Seraph Research Institute is currently in the process of seeking regulatory approval to expand into clinical trials.
About Serhat Gumrukcu, MD, PhD
Dr. Serhat Gumrukcu (Dr. Serhat) is the Executive Director and Director of Translational Research at the Seraph Research Institute, based in Los Angeles. His current research on infectious diseases focuses on creating new approaches and mechanisms of actions in antiviral therapies through co-opting virus-specific components of viral replication machinery, on viruses including SARS-CoV-2, HIV, HBV, influenza and Ebola.
About Phillip Musikanth, MD
Dr. Phillip Musikanth is the Medical Director at Seraph Medical, which works in partnership with the Seraph Research Institute in the care and treatment of patients with chronic or terminal diseases. Dr. Musikanth has been practicing medicine since 1986. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the USC Medical Center in LA County. His medical practice focuses on General Internal Medicine and HIV/AIDS.
About Seraph Research Institute
Seraph Research Institute is a non-profit research institution, founded by Dr. Serhat, registered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, that works to advance medical science in the areas of unmet need. The organization's team of leading research scientists and medical experts work to answer the fundamental questions rooted in science – studying disease at every level from molecular to cellular – and physiology, from individual to population-based scales to create novel approaches to help patients with incurable diseases.
SOURCE Seraph Research Institute