Research Underway Now
Prostratin Research Underway Now
In addition to our efforts to complete the experiments required for an IND application to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, our scientists are interested in expanding our basic science research on prostratin. This research was recently advanced by gifts from the Pepsi Refresh Project, the Entertainment AIDS Alliance, and the Robert Sabo Trust.
For example, a project recently funded by the Sabo Trust examines the effects of combining prostratin with genetically engineered cytotoxic T lymphocytes to increase HIV-induced cell death. This work is being accomplished in collaboration with researchers at UCLA.
Specifically, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells will be isolated from HIV+ individuals. Prostratin will be used to treat CD4+ T cells, while the CD8+ T cells will be genetically engineered to target cells infected with HIV. The goal of this research is to identify any synergistic immune responses by activating the viral reservoir and priming immune cells to target HIV.
Other research underway examines the potency and effects of prostratin analogs, and the effects of additional compounds—including HDAC inhibitors, valproic acid, immunotoxins, and IL-7—in targeting the viral reservoir. Our basic science program will not only expand our knowledge of prostratin, but may also provide insights on how the viral reservoir is created and maintained.