Several years ago the so-called “Berlin Patient”, later identified as HIV infected Californian Timothy Ray Brown, was given an immune system transplant after contracting leukemia, and the donor’s DNA contained the mutation which prevents T-cells from expressing a surface protein called CCR5 that is essential to HIV for infecting the cells. Initially doctors expected that Brown’s new T-cells would only decrease the amount of HIV in his blood stream, but were astonished to discover that they also sought out and destroyed HIV infected cells elsewhere in his body. Today Brown, despite taking no anti-HIV medication for five years, remains apparently entirely free of the disease.
“Establishment of HIV-1 Resistance in CD4+ Cells by Genome Editing Using Zinc Finger Nucleases”, Elena Perez et al in Nature Biotechnology, Vol. 26, pp 808-16, 2008
“Chemokine Receptor 5 Knockout Strategies”, Paula Cannon and Carl June in Current Opinoins in HIV and AIDS, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp 74-79 January 2011
“The Man Who Had HIV and Now Does Not”, Tina Rosenberg, New York Magazine, May 29, 2011
Link to Sangamo’s product pipeline page with information regarding SB-728 trials: