LOS ANGELES, May 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) − Enochian Biosciences, a company focused on gene-modified cellular therapy in infectious disease and cancer, announces three scientific presentations today at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT). All three abstracts submitted to the conference were accepted for presentation.
More than 39 million people live with HIV worldwide. There were approximately 2 million deaths and 1 million new infections last year.
Two presentations provide the first description of a novel approach to potentially cure HIV. Genetic modification of cells to overexpress an important enzyme (ALDH1) protected them from dying when they were treated with low doses of a chemotherapeutic drug, cyclophosphamide. This innovative strategy resulted in a one hundred and sixty-four percent (164%) increase in engraftment of transplanted cells in a mouse model.
Two people – the “London Patient” and the “Berlin Patient” have been cured of HIV following transplantation of cells with genetic mutations that prevent HIV infection. However, the transplanted cells were from another person, an approach that carries a high risk of death and significant illness. Attempts to genetically modify and transplant a patient’s own cells, that have a much lower risk of serious side effects, have failed due to limited engraftment (uptake) of the transplanted cells in the bone marrow. The substantial increase in engraftment of genetically modified and transplanted cells in the bone marrow of mice could lead to a clinical approach in humans to potentially cure HIV.
Approximately 257 million of the people in the world are infected with HBV, and nearly 1 million people die per year.
At the HEP DART meeting in December 2020, we showed that a novel approach killed up to 97 percent of cells infected with HBV in vitro. Today, we presented new data from several in vivo. studies providing a further scientific foundation for the mechanism of action of that killing and further validation of the approach as a potential therapy to cure HBV.
“As we do not have a cure for HIV or HBV, this new research is compelling. Currently, we have good oral, safe and effective therapies that patients with HIV or chronic HBV must take daily, for life. This is challenging for many individuals. Non-compliance can lead to HIV and HBV viral resistance or to acute liver flares in patients with chronic liver disease. Patients and physicians all look to a future that could offer a cure.” Carol L. Brosgart, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco and a member of the Enochian Board of Directors.
Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical in nature are forward-looking statements. These statements are only predictions based on current information and expectations and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to the success or efficacy of our pipeline. All statements other than historical facts are forward-looking statements, which can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “believes,” plans,” “expects,” “aims,” “intends” “potential,” or similar expressions. Actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in any of such statements due to various uncertainties, including as set forth in Enochian’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, and Enochian undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.