CARLSBAD, Calif., Mar 6, 2000 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Immune Response
Corporation (Nasdaq: IMNR) announced today the presentation of new data
appearing to demonstrate that people infected with HIV-1 who are treated with
REMUNE(TM) (an immune-based therapy consisting of whole inactivated HIV-1 virus
depleted of its gp120 coat protein), and haart (highly active antiretroviral
therapy), can recognize and mount an immune response to their own HIV virus.
"Patients treated with REMUNE in an open label research study at the San Diego
Naval Medical Center, appeared to mount strong CD4 T helper cell proliferative
responses to their own virus," Dr. Ronald Moss, VP of Medical and Scientific
Affairs at the Company, told fellow scientists at the recent UCLA 2000 Symposium
on HIV/AIDS in Palm Springs, CA. "Normally, CD4 T helper cell proliferation is
tested only against laboratory strains of the virus. The response to a
laboratory strain, however, may not predict patients' ability to fight the
strain with which they are infected. The fact that the patients' CD4 T helper
cells appeared to be able to mount an immune response to their own as well as
laboratory strains of HIV-1 also suggests that the immune response is directed
at conserved regions of the virus and is cross-reactive."
To test whether REMUNE shows promise as a universal immunogen, the Company's
scientists studied the proliferative response to various strains (or clades) of
the HIV-1 virus found throughout the world. The speed with which outside, or
"coat", regions of the HIV-1 virus mutate has been a key obstacle to developing
effective therapeutic vaccines against HIV, and different strains of HIV-1 have
emerged due to mutations in the outside of the virus. The data presented by Dr.
Moss show that REMUNE treated patients showed proliferative responses to several
strains of the HIV-1 virus, including clade B (U.S. and Europe), clade E (Asia)
and clade C (which is considered to be the most common subtype of HIV-1
worldwide and is prevalent in Africa and Asia). This suggests that REMUNE
stimulates CD4 cells to recognize conserved inside, or "core", regions of the
virus, which do not mutate as rapidly. REMUNE may therefore potentially serve as
a universal immunogen. "Our recently issued patents further strengthen our
intellectual property position for the development of products for both the
treatment and prevention of HIV disease," said Dennis J. Carlo, Ph.D., President
and CEO of The Immune Response Corporation.
Dr. Moss also presented data showing that a response of CD8 T "killer" cells,
which can destroy HIV-infected cells, was evident in REMUNE-treated patients.
This is especially promising since CD8 cell activity has been shown by some
researchers to decrease with potent antiviral drugs. In REMUNE treated patients,
the levels of perforin and the chemokine MIP-1 Beta, which are two major markers
for CD8 cell activity, increased post-treatment. "These data are consistent with
other data which suggest that CD4 T helper cells provide the orchestration for
anti-HIV CD8 T cell responses. These results provide further support for the
ongoing studies of the effects of REMUNE on viral load," Dr. Moss commented.
The Immune Response Corporation is a biopharmaceutical company based in
Carlsbad, California, developing immune-based therapies to induce specific
T-cell responses for the treatment of HIV and autoimmune diseases. In addition,
the Company is working on cancer vaccines and gene therapy.
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