>> All right.>> A surprising medical study to treat Crohn's disease in monkeys has raised new hopes for a so-called functional cure for HIV. That could mean patients like 30-year old, Manny Baez, may no longer have to rely on a daily cocktail of pills to keep their HIV in check.
>> It's absolutely mind-blowing. It's amazing, just 20 years ago this was a death sentence.>> The initial study came out of the lab of Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. He is now presiding over a human clinical trial, to see whether the drug Entyvio, made by Japanese firm, Takeda, can put HIV in sustained remission.
>> We clearly induced something in the monkeys that is chronically, over now, one to two years, suppressing the rebound of their virus. We don't know yet what that is. We certainly are going to be working, both in the non-human primate monkey model, as well as in the humans, once we get data from this study, to try and figure out what the mechanism is.
>> Healthcare advocates are cautiously optimistic, since many promising drugs that have worked in monkeys have failed to work in people. But Baez, who is enrolled in Fauci's trial, is hopeful. He will remain on his usual dose of HIV drugs, while taking nine infusions of Entyvio over a period of several months.
Then his usual meds will be stopped, he will get two more infusions of Entyvio, and doctors will watch to see if the virus rebounds or remains suppressed. There are other potential treatments advancing as well, including studies involving human antibodies that neutralize HIV, and a vaccine that uses a herpes virus to train the immune system to fight HIV.