Original Post in WTOP By: Jeff Clabaugh
There are treatments to keep HIV patients healthy and the virus at bay, but there is still no known cure. A Rockville, Maryland, company thinks it’s headed in the right direction.
American Gene Technologies, a 15-year-old gene therapy biotech company with no products on the market, cites strong, positive clinical trial results for its potential HIV cure in moving to create a separate company to exclusively continue its HIV research and trials. The goal is to bring the potential treatment to market.
The new company is called Addimmune and will take American Gene Technologies’ Rockville space and 50 of its existing employees. A much smaller American Gene Therapies will relocate and continue its research and development in other gene-based therapies.
Addimmune is assembling a board of directors made up of HIV scientists and pharmaceutical industry leaders, as well as investors to raise new capital, with the long-term goal of becoming a publicly traded company.
“We are confident that we’re on course for an HIV cure, and we believe this new company is the most effective vehicle for completing that mission,” said American Gene Technologies founder and CEO Jeff Galvin, who will also serve as Addimmune CEO. “Addimmune can focus all its efforts on HIV, while American Gene continues to explore gene therapy cures for other diseases.”
Results of American Gene’s HIV Phase One human clinical trial were published last November. The Phase One trial showed its modified gene treatment is safe, with none of the participants suffering adverse side effects. It’s also durable, according to trial results, with modified T-cells accepted and all participating patients remained uninfected by HIV.
Phase 2 clinical trials, expected to begin in early 2024, will focus on efficacy.