The therapeutic molecules have been produced and their strong affinity to Rev and its inhibitory effect on HIV proliferation was demonstrated.
The invention offered for licensing and commercial development is in the field of HIV therapeutics. More specifically, the invention relates to methods and compositions for treating and/or inhibiting HIV infection or any other lentivirus. The invention describes the identification, though phage display, of a chimeric rabbit/human anti-Rev Fab (SJS-R1) that can inhibit polymerization of the HIV Rev protein and thus inhibit its normal function in virus replication. The Fab binds with very high affinity to a conformational epitope in the N-terminal half of HIV-1 Rev. The corresponding single chain antibody (scFv) was also prepared and characterized. Methods of making and using SJS-R1 Fab and SJS-R1 scFv, and antibodies and antibody fragments that share at least one CDR with SJS-R1 Fab, are provided. Specific described methods include methods of preventing or reversing polymerization of HIV Rev, methods of reducing infectivity of replication of a lentivirus, inhibiting Rev function in a cell infected with a lentivirus, and methods of treating a disease or symptom associated with Rev expression in an animal.
- The invention utilizes a novel target and thus can be effective in conjunction with other HIV drugs.
- The chimeric structure of the Fab makes it possible to produce it in rabbit in high yields while being readily applicable for human treatment.