A BioTech company has received the go-ahead to begin human trials for a ‘functional cure’ to HIV.

A functional cure means that although the virus is not totally eliminated, it can be controlled without taking medication – in the case of HIV, daily.

According to Attitude:

Following approval from The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), phase one of the trial from Excision BioTherapeutics, Inc. – a developer of CRISPR-based therapies intended to cure viral infectious diseases – is expected to start later this year.

CRISPR is a technology that enables gene modification and DNA altering. The functional cure, EBT-101 (as it’s currently called), will be the first-in-human CRISPR-based one-time gene therapy to be evaluated in individuals with HIV”.

In a statement on their website, Daniel Dornbusch, Chief Executive Officer said:

“The clearance of our IND application for EBT-101 represents an important milestone for Excision and is the result of years of commitment to developing a functional cure for individuals living with HIV.

“Although antiviral treatments can manage HIV infection, they require life-long treatment, cause side effects, and do not provide the possibility of a functional cure. We are grateful for the FDA’s engaged review and acceptance of the IND for EBT-101 and look forward to initiating the Phase 1/2 clinical trial later this year.”

Lisa Danzig, MD, Excision’s Chief Medical Officer, added: “EBT-101 has demonstrated removal of proviral DNA in multiple animal models and offers an opportunity for individuals living with HIV to potentially cease life-long therapies