HIV/AIDS

Late-stage HIV infection: The primary goal for our first trial will be to repeat the immune system improvements seen with interferon inhibition in European clinical trials in late-stage HIV patients 1 . There are approximately 800,000 people in the U.S. living with HIV infection. Of these, 250,000 are considered mid-to-late-stage and at risk of conversion to the immune-deficient stage termed AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). The HIV coat protein gp120 is a potent interferon inducer 2. In the later stages of HIV infection, the constant and excessive exposure to both interferon- α and interferon- γ is thought to contribute significantly to brain and immune system damage. "Paradoxically, the appearance of interferon activity in sera of HIV-infected patients is associated with disease progression, not resolution.” 3 . This hypothesis was tested in European trials involving hundreds of HIV patients where reduction of interferon bioactivity was associated with improved prognosis and decreased frequency of conversion to AIDS 1.