The American Gene Technologies believes it has found a cure for HIV-AIDS through a gene therapy that will eradicate the disease "once and for all", said the Maryland pharmaceutical company, which filed a 1,000-page application to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
It claimed the single-dose drug will improve "people's living by relieving suffering and increasing their lifespan". According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), at least 1.1 million people in the United States have currently been living with HIV or AIDS. A few anti-retroviral therapies (ART) since the 1980s have been able to restore the quality of life to a person living with HIV by making it further untransmutable, but the infection has so far found no cure.
The AGT's lead HIV program called AGT 103-T involved culturing and expanding an individual's cells outside the body and then reintroducing it back into the donor. The treatment of HIV patients currently contains at least three drugs at one time every day for the rest of their lives. Scientists have, however, got the cocktail that converts HIV from a death sentence to a life sentence by taking that toxic chemotherapy.
The company in a statement claimed their single-dose drug had "a simple purpose to eradicate HIV once and for all" so that those infected could live a quality life. The researchers said if successful the program could restore the body's natural immunity to HIV, resulting in people's immune systems countering the disease like any other.
"We need to move these people from anti-retroviral control to permanent immunity and we think this project may be able to do that," said AGT CEO Jeff Galvin, adding that phase one clinical trials could begin in January if their application was approved.
The company, however, said it still could be several years before the drug final appeared in the market. About 37.9 million people across the world have been living with HIV, with nearly 20 million having access to antiretroviral treatment, the World Health Organisation said.
PrEP – a crucial preventative pill for HIV -- empties the pockets of those in need, with a year's supply costing an American around $20,000 a year, activists warn, urging researchers and healthcare facilities to do more in slashing treatment prices and increasing education around the disease.