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Donnie Darko
What may become the HIV vaccine…

The article is scientifically technical, but anybody who understands the basics of how the immune system operates and how enzymes work should be able to appreciate how incredibly clever the work of these researchers is. The fact that they discovered the HIV killer in people who have the autoimmune disease Lupus is brilliant. You'd think people with auto-immune disorders would be the least logical group to investigate if you were trying to find something that stops an auto-immune disorder. That would be like finding a cure for lung cancer in the body of someone with a brain tumor.
Doctor Love

Wow, let's hope it turns out to be as promising as it sounds!
Donnie Darko
Yeah, typically it is a very long way from in vitro to in vivo to completed clinical trials, but because it wouldn't be a pharmaceutical with huge R&D expense, but instead would be a relatively easy to manufacture vaccine in the form of an "abzyme", it could likely be done faster and cheaper than it would take a normal drug to come to market.

And of course it may not work in the trials, but based on the science they're describing I'd be really surprised if it didn't work. The only thing I can think of that might cause it to not function is the person's own immune system seeing the abzyme as an antigen and attacking it (shit, maybe that's one factor that provokes the auto-immune response in Lupus?) before the abzyme can break apart the HIV viruses , though it might still work anyway as enzymatic reactions happen on a faster and larger scale than B and T lymphocytes and their protein complements could muster.
Doctor Love

Couldn't that be counteracted by having the patient take immunosuppressants during the treatment period to prevent the body from attacking the cure? It's not like the immune system is overly effective against HIV anyway, right?

QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Jul 17 2008, 05:50 PM) *

You'd think people with auto-immune disorders would be the least logical group to investigate if you were trying to find something that stops an auto-immune disorder.

Um, no. Yes, I mean. Autoimmunity involves overdiligent immune reactions. Immunodeficiency is in a way quite the opposite, according to my basic understanding of how the immune system operates.
Donnie Darko
You're right. An auto-immune disorder is when an over zealous immune system attacks the body, whereas HIV causes immunodeficiency, essentially by stopping immune cells that encounter antigens from alerting other immune cells to the presence of antigens. I said the whole thing backwards.

I'm not sure if giving people with HIV immunosuppressants would work, as it could put the patient in a state even weaker than the HIV had made them. The other thing is I don't know exactly what environment an abzyme requires to function in, but it may require a functioning immune system. I understand just enough about this stuff to appreciate how cool it is, but not enough to understand it really well… kind of like making Absinthe.
Doctor Love

Well, clearly absinthe should be part of whatever treatment regimen is eventually designed.

I wonder if this cure will be given an astounding price tag by the pharmaceutical companies to the sufferers? They certainly have done such with prior treatment pills.
You'll only need 5 doses a day at $1500.00 each.
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