RPH on trail of HIV treat­ment

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health - By EMILY BAKER

MAR­TYN French’s work could lead to a break­through in treat­ment for peo­ple with hu­man im­mun­od­e­fi­ciency virus (HIV).

The Royal Perth Hos­pi­tal im­mu­nol­o­gist and re­searcher will in­ves­ti­gate the pos­si­bil­ity of us­ing an an­ti­body to trig­ger nat­u­ral im­mune re­sponses to fight HIV.

Pro­fes­sor French is one of 131 re­searchers who re­ceived about $6 mil­lion as part of the lat­est round of the State Gov­ern­ment’s Med­i­cal and Health Re­search In­fra­struc­ture Fund grants, which will go to­wards the project.

“While only in its early stages, this re­search could as­sist in the devel­op­ment of a vac­cine for HIV suf­fer­ers,” Prof French said.

“Presently there is no cure for HIV. Pa­tients are able to stay well for 20 to 30 years but un­for­tu­nately once HIV is con­tracted, con­tin­u­ous drug treat­ment is the only way to con­trol the virus.”

The project is the first in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the par­tic­u­lar type of an­ti­body, which ac­ti­vates cells in the body to pro­duce mol­e­cules to fight the virus.

“The grant en­ables my team and I to ex­pand on four years’ worth of work funded in part by the Med­i­cal Re­search Foun­da­tion of Royal Perth Hos­pi­tal,” Prof French said.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d435822

Royal Perth Hos­pi­tal re­searcher Pro­fes­sor Mar­tyn French.

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