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Development of an Effective RNA Interference-Based Anti-HIV-1 Therapy Using an SV40-Derived Vector
Framework programme:
Project number:
EC contribution:
€ 2,250,000
36 Months
Starting date:
December 2006

Keywords: Therapeutic Molecular Vaccination, HIV-1, AIDS, SV40-Vector and RNA Interference


The Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) caused by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is a pandemic continuing to grow at an alarming rate, despite the availability of highly active anti-retroviral chemotherapy (HAART). The World Health Organisation (WHO) and European Union (EU) therefore launched a co-ordinated action program to combat poverty-related communicable diseases, including AIDS.

In this project a novel therapy for the treatment of individuals infected with HIV-1 is to be developed. This therapy involves the application of RNA interference (RNAi) to prevent productive infection of new cells with HIV-1 and therefore eventually cure infection. An SV40-based vector will be used to transfer the therapeutic anti-HIV-1 sequence to T-cells of HIV-1 infected individuals in order to result in long-lasting improvements of their condition.

SV40 vectors are intrinsically safe, transfecting both non-dividing and dividing cells. In order to use this therapy in developing countries it is essential to keep the costs and complexity low. A producer cell line will therefore be generated in order to produce viral vector particles at high titres and focus on a singleadministration, long-lasting therapeutic molecular vaccination. The safety and efficacy of the developed therapeutic vaccine will be tested in vitro and subsequently in vivo using mouse and simian challenge models.

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