Elucidation of Natural Product Extracts to Treat HIV Infection

McLean Hospital


In spite of considerable success in developing drugs to combat the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-l), the effectiveness of existing antiretroviral (ART) therapies is limited by mutation and increasing drug resistance. It has been found that approximately 20% of all new HIV-1 infections are resistant to the currently available drugs.


Consequently, concerted efforts toward the discovery and development of novel inhibitors of HIV-1 infection and replication must persist if continued viral repression and virus eradication are to be achieved. Products derived from natural sources have been shown to inhibit HIV-1 replication during various stages of the virus life cycle and represent a potential source of novel therapeutic agents.


The methods and compositions, of the invention feature a natural product extract, or purified components thereof, for the treatment of HIV-1 and other viral infections. The natural products of the invention include brown algae, specifically algae of the Sargassum fusiforme species. The inventors have shown that aqueous extracts from S. fusiforme blocked HIV-1 infection and replication by over 90% in T cells, human macrophages and microglia, and also inhibited pseudotyped HIV-1 (VSV/NL4-3) infection in human astrocytes by over 70%. Inhibition was mediated against both CXCR4 (X4) and CCR5 (R5)-tropic HIV-1, was dose dependent and long lasting, did not inhibit cell growth or viability, was not toxic to cells, and was comparable to inhibition by the nucleoside analogue 2', 3'-didoxycytidine (ddC). S. fusiforme treatment blocked direct cell-to-cell infection spread. The inventors have begun to characterize the active components of these extracts, and have identified specific compounds which appear to have antiviral activity.


Natural product extracts have been elucidated for the treatment of HIV/AIDS.


McLean Hospital and Albany Medical College are the owners of a pending US patent application claiming this invention. McLean Hospital and Albany Medical College are offering a worldwide exclusive license to this technology. Please enquire quoting reference no. 3482.0.

Mario Canki, David Lee, et al.

Abstract Details

Pipeline Status: Preclinical
Platform: Therapeutic
Published Date: 25 Oct 2015
Original Date: 8 May 2008

Contact Details

Contact Person: David Glass
McLean Hospital
Research Administration
115 Mill Street
United States
Telephone: +1 617 855 3825
Fax: +1 617 855 3745
Web URL: http://www.mclean.harvard.edu/research/inventions/detail.php?id=74&category=other
E-mail: dglass@mclean.harvard.edu
Therapeutic Areas:
Infectious Disease