Back on July 9th, we announced in a press release and blog that Calimmune Inc. had treated the first patient in a CIRM-funded clinical trial involving the use of an innovative gene-based stem cell therapy to help protect individuals infected with HIV from the effects of the AIDS virus.
Louis Breton and Geoff Symonds, Calimmune’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer, respectively, spoke to the CIRM governing board about the trial during the May Spotlight on Disease seminar. Video recordings of those presentations are now available on our website, including an introduction by Jeff Sheehy, the board’s HIV/AIDS patient advocate member. You can watch those videos on our website here.
One poignant moment from the seminar was former board member Claire Pomeroy’s comment about the significance of Calimmune’s trial:
As an HIV physician, I’d like everyone to stop for a moment and remember that they were here when they heard about this study at this moment in history … I want to make sure everyone understands the significance of what’s being talked about here. I do remember three decades ago when this disease was inexorable and if I could have imagined then … that three decades later I would be sitting here listening to the hope that is engendered by this concept, I don’t think I could have imagined that because we were too busy holding peoples’ hands as they died. And we don’t know if this one will work but we do know that it brings hope and it uses the power of all of those patients who acted up and demanded research investment and it uses the power of science to try and find a better solution than we’ve had today.
Here’s the video playlist on our YouTube channel: