BACKGROUND Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells have emerged as an approach to treat malignant tumors. This strategy has also been proposed for the treatment of HIV-1 infection. We have developed a broadly neutralizing antibody–derived (bNAb-derived) CAR T cell therapy that can exert specific cytotoxic activity against HIV-1–infected cells.METHODS We conducted an open-label trial of the safety, side-effect profile, pharmacokinetic properties, and antiviral activity of bNAb-derived CAR T cell therapy in individuals infected with HIV-1 who were undergoing analytical interruption of antiretroviral therapy (ART).RESULTS A total of 14 participants completed only a single administration of bNAb-derived CAR T cells. CAR T cell therapy administration was safe and well tolerated. Six participants discontinued ART, and viremia rebound occurred in all of them, with a 5.3-week median time. Notably, the cell-associated viral RNA and intact proviruses decreased significantly after CAR T cell treatment. Analyses of HIV-1 variants before or after CAR T cell administration suggested that CAR T cells exerted pressure on rebound viruses, resulting in a selection of viruses with less diversity and mutations against CAR T cell–mediated cytotoxicity.CONCLUSION No safety concerns were identified with adoptive transfer of bNAb-derived CAR T cells. They reduced viral reservoir. All the rebounds were due to preexisting or emergence of viral escape mutations.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT03240328).FUNDING Ministry of Science and Technology of China, National Natural Science Foundation of China, and Department of Science and Technology of Guangdong Province.
Bingfeng Liu, Wanying Zhang, Baijin Xia, Shuliang Jing, Yingying Du, Fan Zou, Rong Li, Lijuan Lu, Shaozhen Chen, Yonghong Li, Qifei Hu, Yingtong Lin, Yiwen Zhang, Zhangping He, Xu Zhang, Xiejie Chen, Tao Peng, Xiaoping Tang, Weiping Cai, Ting Pan, Linghua Li, Hui Zhang