Imperial College London

Mrs Hanna Box, MPH - Global Health

Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Operations Manager - Clinical Research





Stadium HouseWhite City Campus





Publication Type

4 results found

Kopycinski J, Yang H, Hancock G, Pace M, Kim E, Frater J, Stöhr W, Hanke T, Fidler S, Dorrell L, RIVER trial study groupet al., 2023, Therapeutic vaccination following early antiretroviral therapy elicits highly functional T cell responses against conserved HIV-1 regions, Scientific Reports, Vol: 13, ISSN: 2045-2322

'Kick and kill' cure strategies aim to induce HIV protein expression in latently infected cells (kick), and thus trigger their elimination by cytolytic T cells (kill). In the Research in Viral Eradication of HIV Reservoirs trial (NCT02336074), people diagnosed with primary HIV infection received immediate antiretroviral therapy (ART) and were randomised 24 weeks later to either a latency-reversing agent, vorinostat, together with ChAdV63.HIVconsv and MVA.HIVconsv vaccines, or ART alone. This intervention conferred no reduction in HIV-1 reservoir size over ART alone, despite boosting virus-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. The effects of the intervention were examined at the cellular level in the two trial arms using unbiased computational analysis of polyfunctional scores. This showed that the frequency and polyfunctionality of virus-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell populations were significantly increased over 12 weeks post-vaccination, compared to the ART-only arm. HIV-specific IL-2-secreting CD8+ T cells also expanded significantly in the intervention arm and were correlated with antiviral activity against heterologous HIV in vitro. Therapeutic vaccination during ART commenced in primary infection can induce functional T cell responses that are phenotypically similar to those of HIV controllers. Analytical therapy interruption may help determine their ability to control HIV in vivo.

Journal article

Lee MJ, Collins S, Babalis D, Johnson N, Falaschetti E, Prevost AT, Ashraf A, Jacob M, Cole T, Hurley L, Pace M, Ogbe A, Khan M, Zacharopoulou P, Brown H, Sutherland E, Box H, Fox J, Deeks S, Horowitz J, Nussenzweig MC, Caskey M, Frater J, Fidler Set al., 2022, The RIO trial: rationale, design, and the role of community involvement in a randomised placebo-controlled trial of antiretroviral therapy plus dual long-acting HIV-specific broadly neutralising antibodies (bNAbs) in participants diagnosed with recent HIV infection-study protocol for a two-stage randomised phase II trial, Trials, Vol: 23, ISSN: 1745-6215

Background:Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has led to dramatic improvements in survival for people living with HIV, but is unable to cure infection, or induce viral control off therapy. Designing intervention trials with novel agents with the potential to confer a period of HIV remission without ART remains a key scientific and community goal. We detail the rationale, design, and outcomes of a randomised, placebo-controlled trial of two HIV-specific long-acting broadly neutralising antibodies (bNAbs): 3BNC117-LS and 10-1074-LS, which target CD4 binding site and V3 loop respectively, on post-treatment viral control.Methods:RIO is a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blinded prospective phase II study. Eligible individuals will have started ART within 3 months of primary HIV infection and have viral sequences that appear to be sensitive to both bNAbs. It will randomise 72 eligible participants 1:1 to the following arms via a two-stage design. In Stage 1, arm A participants are given dual long-acting (LS-variants) bNAbs infusions, followed by intensively monitored Analytical Treatment Interruption (ATI) (n = 36); in arm B, participants receive placebo infusions followed by ATI. The primary endpoint will be time to viral rebound within 36 weeks after ATI. Upon viral rebound, the participant and researcher are unblinded. Participants in arm A recommence ART and complete the study. Participants in arm B are invited to restart ART and enroll into Stage 2 where they will receive open-label LS bNAbs, followed by a second ATI 24 weeks after. Secondary and exploratory endpoints include adverse events, time to undetectable viraemia after restarting ART, immunological markers, HIV proviral DNA, serum bNAb concentrations in blood, bNAb resistance at viral rebound, and quality of life measures.Discussion:The two-stage design was determined in collaboration with community involvement. This design allows all participants the option to receive bNAbs. It also tes

Journal article

Yang H, Llano A, Cedeno S, von Delft A, Corcuera A, Gillespie GM, Knox A, Leneghan DB, Frater J, Stohr W, Fidler S, Mothe B, Mak J, Brander C, Ternette N, Dorrell Let al., 2021, Incoming HIV virion-derived Gag Spacer Peptide 2 (p1) is a target of effective CD8(+) T cell antiviral responses, Cell Reports, Vol: 35, ISSN: 2211-1247

Persistence of HIV through integration into host DNA in CD4+ T cells presents a major barrier to virus eradication. Viral integration may be curtailed when CD8+ T cells are triggered to kill infected CD4+ T cells through recognition of histocompatibility leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I-bound peptides derived from incoming virions. However, this has been reported only in individuals with “beneficial” HLA alleles that are associated with superior HIV control. Through interrogation of the pre-integration immunopeptidome, we obtain proof of early presentation of a virion-derived HLA-A∗02:01-restricted epitope, FLGKIWPSH (FH9), located in Gag Spacer Peptide 2 (SP2). FH9-specific CD8+ T cell responses are detectable in individuals with primary HIV infection and eliminate HIV-infected CD4+ T cells prior to virus production in vitro. Our data show that non-beneficial HLA class I alleles can elicit an effective antiviral response through early presentation of HIV virion-derived epitopes and also demonstrate the importance of SP2 as an immune target.

Journal article

Fidler S, Stӧhr W, Pace M, Dorrell L, Lever A, Pett S, Kinloch-de Loes S, Fox J, Clarke A, Nelson M, Thornhill J, Khan M, Fun A, Bandara M, Kelly D, Jakub K, Hanke T, Yang H, Bennett R, Johnson M, Howell B, Richard B, Wu G, Kaye S, Wills M, Babiker A, Frater Jet al., 2020, A randomized comparison of antiretroviral therapy alone versus antiretroviral therapy with a 'kick-and-kill' approach, on measures of the HIV reservoir amongst participants with recent HIV infection: the RIVER trial, The Lancet, Vol: 395, Pages: 888-898, ISSN: 0140-6736

Background: Antiretroviral therapy (ART) cannot cure HIV infection because of a persistent reservoir of latently infected cells. Approaches that force HIV transcription from these cells, making them susceptible to killing - termed ‘kick and kill’ - have been explored as a strategy towards an HIV cure. RIVER is the first randomized trial to determine the impact of ART alone versus ART plus ‘kick-and-kill’ on markers of the HIV reservoir.Methods: RIVER (Trial registration: NCT02336074) was an open-label, multicenter, 1:1 randomized controlled trial of ART-only (control) versus ART plus the histone deacetylase inhibitor vorinostat (the ‘kick’) and replication-deficient viral vector vaccines encoding conserved HIV sequences ChAdV63.HIVconsv-prime, MVA.HIVconsv-boost T-cell vaccination (the ‘kill’) (ART+V+V; intervention) in HIV-positive adults treated in recent HIV-infection. The primary endpoint was total HIV DNA in peripheral blood CD4+ T-cells at weeks 16 and 18 post-randomization. Secondary endpoints included safety, alternative measures of the HIV reservoir including quantitative viral outgrowth, HIV-specific T-cell frequencies, and CD8+ T-cell mediated viral inhibition.Findings: Between December 2015 and November 2017, 60 HIV-positive male participants were randomized (computer-based and stratified by time since diagnosis; 30 participants in each trial arm) and completed the study interventions, with no loss-to-follow-up. There were no intervention-related serious adverse events. Mean total HIV DNA at weeks 16 and 18 was 3.02 log10 copies HIV DNA/106 CD4+ T-cells in the control and 3.06 log10 copies HIV DNA/106 CD4+ T-cells in the intervention arm, with no statistically significant difference (mean difference of 0.04 (95%CI -0.03, 0.11) log10 total HIV DNA copies/106 CD4+ T-cells (p=0.26)). Interpretation: This ‘kick-and-kill’ approach conferred no significant benefit compared to ART alone on measures of

Journal article

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