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News Breaks
January 7, 2014
08:44 EDTHEBHemispherx reports evidence based clinical potential of IFN-alpha
Hemispherx Biopharma announced publication of an article entitled "Emergence of a novel drug resistant H7N9 influenza virus: Evidence based clinical potential of a natural IFN-alpha for infection control and treatment". H7N9 is a recently identified virus associated with high mortality in humans with the potential to emerge as an agent for a global pandemic. New cases of H7N9 have been very recently reported in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. In vitro tests reported in the new article demonstrated that both oseltamivir and Alferon N have significant inhibitory effect on a neuraminidase inhibitor sensitive H7N9 influenza virus. In contrast, Alferon N, but not Tamiflu, had an inhibitory effect on the neuraminidase resistant Shanghai/1/H7N9 virus. According to the peer-reviewed article, "The novel avian H7N9 influenza virus has caused more than 130 human infections with 43 deaths in China. Because of the lack of existing immunity against H7 subtype influenza viruses in the human population and the absence of a licensed commercial vaccine, antiviral drugs are critical tools for the treatment of infection with this novel H7N9. Both M2-ion channel blockers and neuraminidase inhibitors are used as antiviral drugs for influenza infections of humans. The emerging H7N9 viruses are resistant to the M2-ion channel blockers because of a S31N mutation in the M2 protein; additionally, some H7N9 isolates have gained neuraminidase R292K substitution resulting in broad resistance to neuraminidase inhibitors. In this study we report that Alferon N can inhibit wild type and 292K H7N9 viruses replication in vitro. Since Alferon N is approved for clinical use, this would allow a rapid regulatory approval process for this drug under pandemic threat."
News For HEB From The Last 14 Days
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January 26, 2015
08:34 EDTHEBHemispherx reports genetic changes in Ebola may impede potential treatments
Hemispherx Biopharma announced that in a new publication in the journal mBio, scientists at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease, or USAMRIID, Harvard University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, studied genetic changes in the Ebola virus, or EBOV, circulating in West Africa and concluded that genomic drift of the EBOV over time may be sufficient to block the action of otherwise potential therapies that target EBOV genetic sequences. The types of potential drugs at risk include monoclonal antibodies and small-interfering RNA which are scheduled to be evaluated during the current outbreak. The two platform drugs of Hemispherx, Alferon N and Ampligen, both experimental therapeutics in a setting of Ebola disease, have recently both demonstrated anti-EBOV activity and have mechanisms of action which are multifaceted by working through cellular "molecular cascades" rather than by targeting viral protein or genetic sequences whose specificity is vulnerable to mutational change as reported by the research consortium on January 20. Although none of the experimental drugs have been approved by the FDA, certain of the experimental therapeutics discussed in the USAMRIID/Harvard/MIT report, are being used to treat small numbers of patients under a World Health Organization, or WHO, emergency protocol. The potential impact of genomic drift on development of therapeutics for EBOV disease has already been realized for other pathogenic human virus, such as HIV and influenza. The large genetic and antigenic diversity seen in HIV has been a "major stumbling block" for development of preventative vaccines.

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