bNAbs are the antibodies capable of recognising and blocking the entry of different strains of HIV into healthy cells of immune system


ViiV Healthcare to develop investigational bNAbs (Credit: GlaxoSmithKline)

ViiV Healthcare, a joint venture between Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), has announced plans to develop an investigational broadly neutralising antibody (bNAb) N6LS for the treatment and prevention of HIV-1.

The N6LS development programme is part of the exclusive licensing agreement between GSK and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), an entity of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

ViiV Healthcare research & development head Kimberly Smith said: “We are excited to advance N6LS from its current proof of concept stage to the next step in its development by studying this bNAb as a long-acting medicine that could potentially be used for both treatment and prevention of HIV.

“By continuing to research new ways that people living with HIV can reach undetectable viral loads, we build on our 10-year history of furthering innovative science in HIV and take another important step forward in ending the epidemic.”

N6LS was originally discovered and developed by NIAID scientists

According to GSK, bNAbs are the antibodies capable of recognising and blocking the entry of different strains of HIV into healthy cells.

N6LS is an antiviral bNAb that binds to a specific site on the surface of HIV to prevent its entry into the uninfected CD4+ T-cells in the immune system.

N6LS is set to halt the HIV replication and prevent the HIV transmission process, by blocking HIV’s entry into human CD4+ cells.

NIH and GSK signed a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) to jointly identify and further develop new bNAbs, with a potential to be used as treatment regimens for people living with HIV and preventative options for HIV transmission.

Pursuant to the exclusive license agreement, ViiV Healthcare will conduct a development programme of N6LS that includes milestone payments and royalties to the NIAID.

ViiV Healthcare intends to initiate a Phase IIa study with material manufactured by the NIAID Vaccine Research Centre that will evaluate the efficacy, safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetic profile of N6LS in adults living with HIV.