American genetic technologies, a Maryland-based biotech company, has taken a monumental step forward in finding a cure for HIV. The company announced that the first participant in the Phase 1 clinical trial received an infusion of its cell and gene therapy product, AGT103-T, on May 19.
“This is an important step for the company. There is still a lot of work to be done, but it is an inflection point in the history of our attempt to fight HIV, ”said CEO of AGT Jeff galvin.
The United Nations estimates that there were around 38 million people worldwide living with HIV in 2019. About 67% or 25.8 million of these cases were in Africa, where there is an epidemic. About 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV.
“No side effects. No complications and even more, the patient was smiling and happy and likewise, our team was very excited to have the experience,” said Dr. Jose Bordon, who infused the first patient in Washington DC
This is the first human study for AGT103-T, a genetically modified cellular product made from a person’s own cells. The process involves removing T cells from HIV, modifying them, and putting them back in place with slight modifications that make them impervious to HIV. The company’s innovative process focuses on repairing major damage to the immune system caused by HIV.
“This project represents a big step forward in the power of an approach that has significant theoretical and empirical momentum within the HIV treatment scientific community,” said Galvin.
As millions of people around the world suffer from HIV and AIDS, innovative medical research and development projects like this offer hope for better treatment and a better future where the HIV epidemic / AIDS can be brought under control.