Hutch, Sangamo Win $20M HIV Grant

Xconomy Seattle — 

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has secured a five-year, $20 million research project from the National Institutes of Health to study a method in which a patient’s T-cells can be modified to prevent HIV infections. The Hutch’s Keith Jerome and Hans-Peter Kiem are the lead investigators on the grant, and they are collaborating with scientists at Richmond, CA-based Sangamo Biosciences (NASDAQ: SGMO), the University of Washington, Beckman Research Institute at City of Hope in Duarte, CA, and Seattle Children’s Hospital. The approach seeks to eliminate a protein on immune cells, called CCR5, which the HIV virus uses as a gateway to infect and damage the immune system.