Exciting New Sanofi HIV Research Published in Journal Science by Dr. Zhi-Yong Yang
As a research scientist at Sanofi, it is always exciting to share news about a potentially groundbreaking innovation. So I am delighted that a newly-published article in the journal Science highlights our early-stage research into “trispecific” antibodies as a potential new paradigm for combating human immunodeficiency virus, commonly known as HIV.
Trispecific antibodies are broadly neutralizing antibodies that have been engineered to recognize three target sites in one molecule. One of the key issues in tackling the HIV pandemic is overcoming the remarkable global genetic diversity of HIV strains and subtypes. In our new study, we found that one investigational trispecific antibody successfully neutralized more than 99% of more than 200 HIV samples in vitro (in the laboratory).
This builds upon the experience we’ve seen with monoclonal and bi-specific antibodies – but suggests that “three-in-one” antibodies could lead to higher potency and breadth of coverage than we’ve ever previously witnessed. The implications for HIV are exciting and this approach may also have applicability in other infectious diseases, autoimmune conditions, and cancer.
Securing publication in such a respected journal as Science feels like a real reward for Sanofi’s North America Breakthrough Laboratory. There are always many challenges in early R&D work. When I think back to the early days, and the challenges we had to overcome, I am even prouder of this announcement.
I am personally grateful to so many colleagues who contributed to this work. This research would not have been possible without our close collaboration across teams at Sanofi, in particular the Biologics Research, Translational Science, Biopharmaceutics Development department and leadership teams. Additionally, we are so grateful for the expertise of our external collaborators at the National Institutes of Health, Harvard Medical School, the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, and The Scripps Research Institute.
It is true that no single entity can conquer a disease like HIV on its own, and I’m pleased that at Sanofi, we’re able to work in public-private partnerships to work toward this goal. I plan to continue work on this innovative approach as we progress to the first clinical trials in humans and hope that there will be even more good news to share over the next few years.