Monday, August 26, 2013

Hemispherx Announces Biosecurity Program to Potentially Reduce Pandemic Influenza Threat

August 26, 2013
Professor Richt's diverse experimental program, sponsored in part by the US Department of Homeland Security, National Institutes of Health, European Union, US Department of Agriculture, and private entities, focuses on molecular mechanisms and pathogenesis of emerging pathogens in livestock populations as a critical first step in promoting and causing human disease, including various zoonotic viruses such as highly pathogenic influenza viruses, H7N9 or H5N1(i.e., zoonotic agents).

New data regarding the genesis of pandemic flu, recently summarized by researchers at the National Institutes of Health in "Pandemic Influenza Viruses — Hoping for the Road Not Taken", David M. Morens, M.D., Jeffery K. Taubenberger, M.D., Ph.D., and Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. N Engl J Med 2013; 368:2345-2348 June 20, 2013DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1307009, identifies viral reassortment events occurring in farm animals as potential major contributors to the eventual and inevitable jump into humans (cross-species transmission). Professor Richt is recognized as an expert on zoonotic agents (i.e., influenza, Prions, Rift Valley Fever, etc.) and has published extensively on the monitoring of the mutations and the basic events leading to cross-species transmission and the opportunities to adapt to its new human host with the potential to cause a pandemic.

At the Orlando Conference, Dr. Richt described his ongoing research with Alferon(R), including in-vitro experiments directed against inhibiting Tamiflu-resistant H7N9 influenza viruses. His laboratory results to date suggest that Alferon(R) may be a promising candidate to treat the virulent, and proved lethal Tamiflu-resistant H7N9 virus in animals and humans. Moreover, Hemispherx's previous research suggests that Alferon(R) may be active against a range of viruses existing in animal populations even in the low dose oral (LDO) formulation referred to as Alferon(R) LDO.

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