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Sangamo BioSciences Announces Nature Biotechnology Study Demonstrating the Use of Zinc Finger Nucleases to Generate HIV Resistant T Cells
Date:6/30/2008

gher in mice in the presence of HIV infection (p=0.008). In a second experiment it was determined that 50 days after infection, mice given the ZFN- modified cells had increased numbers of CD4 cells and a statistically significant reduction in viral load in their peripheral blood (P<0.001) compared to mice given control cells. These data suggest that, in the presence of HIV, the ZFN-modified cells have a selective advantage allowing them to evade infection and destruction leaving them able fight opportunistic infections and HIV itself.

About HIV/AIDS and CCR5

HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV infection kills or impairs cells of the immune system, progressively destroying the body's ability to fight infections and certain cancers resulting in AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). Individuals diagnosed with AIDS are susceptible to life-threatening diseases called opportunistic infections, which are caused by microbes that usually do not cause illness in healthy people. According to Worldaidsday.org, over 3 million people were infected with HIV in 2005. There are now over 40 million people living with HIV and AIDS worldwide.

CCR5 is the chemokine receptor that HIV uses as a co-receptor to gain entry into immune cells. CCR5 is perhaps the most important of the known co- receptors for HIV, since the most commonly transmitted strains of HIV are strains that bind to CCR5 -- so-called "R5" strains. A small fraction of the population carries a mutation in their CCR5 gene, called the delta32 mutation. This mutated version of the gene results in a truncated CCR5 protein which cannot be used by HIV as a co-receptor. Individuals that have mutant delta 32 versions of both of their CCR5 genes are resistant to infection by R5 HIV strains.

About Sangamo

Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. is focused on the research and development of novel DNA-binding proteins for therapeutic gene regulation and modification. The most advanced ZFP Therape
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