Background: Broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (bnMAbs) may promote clearance of HIV-1-expressing cells through antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity. We evaluated the effect of the CD4-binding site bnMAb, VRC01, on measures of HIV-1 persistence in chronically infected individuals.
Methods: A5342 was a phase 1, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-arm study. Participants on effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) were randomized to receive 2 infusions of VRC01 (40 mg/kg) at entry and week 3, and 2 infusions of placebo (saline) at weeks 6 and 9; or 2 infusions of placebo at entry and week 3, and 2 infusions of VRC01 at weeks 6 and 9.
Results: Infusion of VRC01 was safe and well tolerated. The median fold-change in the cell-associated HIV-1 RNA/DNA ratio from baseline to week 6 was 1.12 and 0.83 for the VRC01 and placebo arms, respectively, with no significant difference between arms (P = .16). There were no significant differences in the proportions with residual plasma viremia ≥1 copies/mL or in phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate/ionomycin-induced virus production from CD4+ T cells between arms (both P > .05).
Conclusions: In individuals with chronic HIV-1 infection on ART, VRC01 infusions were safe and well tolerated but did not affect plasma viremia, cellular HIV-1 RNA/DNA levels, or stimulated virus production from CD4+ T cells.
Clinicaltrialsgov identifier: NCT02411539.
Keywords: HIV-1 cure; HIV-1 persistence; VRC01; bnMAb; clinical trial.