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Hemispherx, Bioclones to collaborate on HIV/AIDS eradication

Hemispherx Biopharma announced execution of an agreement to seek South African government approval to initiate a study of Alferon N, the only FDA approved natural interferon, in the suppression of HIV Type 1 replication and the reduction/elimination of functional cell-associated HIV DNA integration. The study is contemplated as part of a broad strategic alliance with Bioclones, a South African biotechnology company. At the Wistar Institute, University of Pennsylvania, a recent clinical study was conducted to test the effect of Interferon Alfa-2a in the suppression and/or eradication of HIV. This pilot study yielded an exciting conclusion: alpha interferon resulted in control of HIV replication in 45% of patients following cessation of anti-retroviral therapy. Decreased levels of latent HIV occurred in patients in which HIV replication was suppressed by anti-retroviral drugs, supporting a role for immune-mediated approaches in HIV suppression and potential eradication of latent virus required for cure. Hemispherx' flagship products, Alferon N and Ampligen are both potentially key players in successful long-term immune-mediated therapy.