Viravaxx’s HIV diagnostic device VXD001 allows in-depth analysis of the individual patient’s immune response to an HIV infection. It uses recombinantly expressed proteins of the HI virus as well as a set of overlapping peptides covering the whole sequence of gp 120 and gp41.
Today, diagnosis for HIV infection is made via ELISA and Western blot, which allow the general detection of antibodies to the virus in a 10–12 week time frame post infection. A faster detection of an infection is possible with a PCR-based test for the viral genome. All currents tests only allow the detection of an infection, while it is not possible to analyze the quality of the immune response in detail.
A VXD001 prototype, however, was able to do exactly that: It revealed that antibodies in patients from Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe react with more or less the same epitopes of a Clade C proteome isolated from Africa. In addition it was found that the immune response targets epitopes from hypervariable segments of the viral coat proteins. This misguided antibody response seems to be important for the failure of vaccines tested so far to provide virus-neutralizing immunity.
Viravaxx targets the development of VXD001 for the research market in 2018.