Monday, July 11, 2011

Big NIH grant awards show Bay Area still at center of HIV fight

The Bay Area continues to innovate at the center of the fight against HIV, winning a couple of major National Institutes of Health grants aimed at HIV reservoirs.
Dr. Steven Deeks and Dr. Mike McCune of the University of California, San Francisco , will work with Rafick-Pierre Sekaly of the Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of Florida to define the nature and location of reservoirs — cells where HIV may be undetectable for years — and how those reservoirs are created and maintained. What's more, researchers will develop and test targeted treatments that eliminate HIV reservoirs without broadly activating the immune system, which could activate the virus.
Sangamo BioSciences Inc. (NASDAQ: SGMO) of Richmond will work with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle as part of a $20 million project to develop proteins that directly attack HIV reservoirs. Researchers also will study whether a patient’s immune cells can be made resistant to the virus.

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