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Scientists foresee Russian gene therapy for HIV cure may be registered in 5-10 years

August 17, 2017, 15:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Сlinical trials are costly, and the drug production is costly as well, scientists warn

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© Sergei Konkov/TASS

MOSCOW, August 17. /TASS/. A Russian gene therapy drug for individuals infected with HIV called Dinavir is undergoing pre-clinical trials, and the drug has already proved its efficiency on cells. The pre-clinical tests on animal models, clinical trials and the registration procedure may take up to 10 years, senior research fellow at the Epidemiology Central Research Institute of Rospotrebnadzor (the Federal Service on Surveillance for Customers’ Rights Protection and Human Well-Being) Dina Glazkova told TASS.

"This is not about the next year, but rather in five years, at the earliest. It takes up to 10 years on the average," she said.

Glazkova reiterated that the registration is made after the clinical trials. "Again, the clinical trials are costly, and the drug production is costly as well," the scientist added.

Dinavir proved to be safe while tested on cells, in vitro. A Phase II pre-clinical trial will utilize animal models to test the efficiency and safety of treatment. A Phase I clinical trial will be carried out on humans to test safety of the therapy and will take up not less than a year.

"Phase II takes up two to three years, and it is unclear how much will be required from us. Phase I is about safety, and it takes a few patients: five, maybe ten. Phase II is when we have to prove that the drug works in these five to ten [patients] and that it had a positive effect on them. Phase III is when we enroll a lot of patients [in the trial] to show that the five were cured not by accident and that it [the gene therapy] really works," Glazkova explained.

The gene therapy for HIV treatment is being developed by a group of researches at the Epidemiology Central Research Institute of Rospotrebnadzor.

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