BEAT-HIV Delaney Collaboratory
The Delaney Collaboratory to Cure HIV-1 Infection by Combination Immunotherapy (BEAT-HIV Collaboratory) is a consortium of more than 85 top HIV researchers from leading academic research institutions working with government, nonprofit organizations, and industry partners to gain a better understanding of HIV latent reservoirs and host factors governing viral control and reactivation through which long-term remission or eradication of HIV will be achieved by combination immunotherapy inclusive of bNAbs, adoptively transferred immune cells, novel latency reversing agents, and nanoparticle therapies.
Find Where and How HIV Hides and What Host Factors Govern Persistence
Even after treatment with current medications that render viral load undetectable, there are still a few cells in the body where the virus hides. In order to get rid of the virus, we need to find where and how it hides; then we can try to force it out and destroy it, and then to study how host factors may influence how viral persistence is maintained.
Make the Immune System Stronger Against HIV
We will use new techniques to improve how we fight HIV. We will test different ways to strengthen our immune system, like using special antibodies (broadly neutralizing antibodies, BNAbs) and enhancing natural killer cells. We will also try new methods to make our immune cells better at fighting the virus over a long time. Our goal is to create a combination of treatments that can control the virus even without regular antiretroviral medication.
Introduce New HIV-killing Cells
We will seek new ways to fight HIV while someone is on ART. We plan to use a mix of small antiviral molecules (i.e., drugs), treatments that boost the immune system, and gene editing methods to lower (and eventually get rid of) the HIV that lays hidden in the body. We will test different strategies, like a) using new medications to “wake up” the hidden HIV to make it visible to the immune system or b) using a cutting-edge gene therapy technology called lipid nanoparticle delivery to introduce chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) in killer T cells, improving their ability to recognize and kill HIV-infected cells.