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Nature Medicine



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Inducing antiretroviral therapy (ART)-free virological control is a critical step toward a human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) cure. In this phase 2a, placebo-controlled, double-blinded trial, 43 people (85% males) with HIV-1 on ART were randomized to (1) placebo/placebo, (2) lefitolimod (TLR9 agonist)/placebo, (3) placebo/broadly neutralizing anti-HIV-1 antibodies (bNAbs) or (4) lefitolimod/bNAb. ART interruption (ATI) started at week 3. Lefitolimod was administered once weekly for the first 8 weeks, and bNAbs were administered twice, 1 d before and 3 weeks after ATI. The primary endpoint was time to loss of virologic control after ATI. The median delay in time to loss of virologic control compared to the placebo/placebo group was 0.5 weeks (P = 0.49), 12.5 weeks (P = 0.003) and 9.5 weeks (P = 0.004) in the lefitolimod/placebo, placebo/bNAb and lefitolimod/bNAb groups, respectively. Among secondary endpoints, viral doubling time was slower for bNAb groups compared to non-bNAb groups, and the interventions were overall safe. We observed no added benefit of lefitolimod. Despite subtherapeutic plasma bNAb levels, 36% (4/11) in the placebo/bNAb group compared to 0% (0/10) in the placebo/placebo group maintained virologic control after the 25-week ATI. Although immunotherapy with lefitolimod did not lead to ART-free HIV-1 control, bNAbs may be important components in future HIV-1 curative strategies. identifier: NCT03837756.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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