Although progress has been made on constructing potent bi-specific broadly neutralizing antibody (bi-bNAb), few bi-bNAbs have been evaluated against HIV-1/AIDS in non-human primates (NHPs). Here, we report the efficacy of a tandem bi-bNAb, namely BiIA-SG, in Chinese-origin rhesus macaques (CRM) against the CRM-adapted R5-tropic pathogenic SHIVSF162P3CN challenge. Pre-exposure BiIA-SG injection prevents productive viral infection in 6 of 6 CRMs with unmeasurable proviral load, T cell responses, and seroconversion. Single BiIA-SG injection, at day 1 or 3 post viral challenge, significantly reduces peak viremia, achieves undetectable setpoint viremia in 8 of 13 CRMs, and delays disease progression for years in treated CRMs. In contrast, 6 of 8 untreated CRMs develop simian AIDS within 2 years. BiIA-SG-induced long-term protection is associated with CD8+ T cells as determined by anti-CD8β antibody depletion experiments. Our findings provide a proof-of-concept that bi-bNAb treatment elicits T cell immunity in NHPs, which warrant the clinical development of BiIA-SG for HIV-1 prevention and immunotherapy.
Keywords: AIDS; BiIA-SG; HIV-1; SHIV; bi-bNAb; bispecific antibody; non-human primate; passive immunization; rhesus monkey.
Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.