Scientists have engineered an antibody that attacks 99% of HIV strains and can prevent infection in primates.
It is built to attack three critical parts of the virus – making it harder for HIV to resist its effects.
The work is a collaboration between the US National Institutes of Health and the pharmaceutical company Sanofi.
The International Aids Society said it was an “exciting breakthrough”. Human trials will start in 2018 to see if it can prevent or treat infection.
Our bodies struggle to fight HIV because of the virus’ incredible ability to mutate and change its appearance.
There varieties of HIV – or strains – in a single patient are comparable to those of influenza during a worldwide flu season.
So the immune system finds itself in a fight against an insurmountable number of strains of HIV.
But after years of infection, a small number of patients develop powerful weapons called …