The medicine industry is booming, thanks to new technologies like bendable batteries and injectable bandages. While these new discoveries can treat cancer and repair organs, some researchers are working on improving older remedies. The US National Institutes of Health and Sanofi have combined antibodies into tri-specific antibodies targeting HIV infection.
“They are more potent and have greater breadth than any single naturally occurring antibody that’s been discovered.” [said Dr. Gary Nabel of Sanofi.]
“We’re getting 99% coverage, and getting coverage at very low concentrations of the antibody,”
HIV strains mutate faster than immune systems can adapt, making resistance almost futile. Animal trials saw a 100% success rate in monkeys, while human trials will begin next year.
“Combinations of antibodies that each bind to a distinct site on HIV may best overcome the defences of the virus in the effort to achieve effective antibody-based treatment and prevention.”
Further testing may prove the usefulness of tri-specific antibodies in other fields. The battle against HIV is far from over, but it’s safe to say we’re getting there, one antibody at a time.
There are a rising number of communities learning to address drug addiction as a health issue. All the same, some have yet to remove the stigma (and anyway, 3D printing can repair brain damage). In a perfectly timed series of events, the FDA has approved a device that may encourage other societies to tackle addiction head on. The electronic earpiece inhibits opioid withdrawal symptoms.
“Given the scope of the epidemic of opioid addiction, we need to find innovative new ways to help those currently addicted live lives of sobriety with the assistance of medically assisted treatment,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.
The NSS-2 Bridge sends pulses to the cranial nerve, reducing nausea, anxiety, and body aches. Clinical trials showed that 88% of 73 patients experienced an easy segue into medical treatment.
“I’ve never seen it not work for an opioid patient,” [said Innovative Health Solutions president Brian] Carrico… “For us to sit on this technology, from a humanity standpoint, is incredibly irresponsible.”
As with any experimental technology, including the Bridge in addiction treatment costs an arm and a leg (and maybe a lung). So far, patients spend between $600 and $1,500. On the upside, it’s proven to many that it’s never too late to recover.