1. First make the name of your targeted vaccine a household word with lots of references to it in the media......
2. Demonize the virus and and show some very sick kids that you can blame the virus for damaging.....
3. Have your friends at the CDC beg for a vaccine...
4. Acquire the rights to use the virus...
5. Make the vaccine and have your friends at the CDC mandate it...
6. Like magic you are a millionaire...
Leibel writes "The Australian ABC News is reporting that a 15-year-old Australian liver transplant patient has defied modern medicine by taking on her donor's immune system. Demi-Lee Brennan had a liver transplant. Nine months later, doctors at Sydney's Westmead Children's Hospital were amazed to find the teenager's blood group had changed to the donor's blood type. They were even more surprised when they found the girl's immune system had almost totally been replaced by that of the donor, meaning she no longer had to take anti-rejection drugs. 'Dr. Michael Stormon says his team is now trying to identify how the phenomenon happened and whether it can be replicated. "That's probably easier said than done... I think it's a long shot," he said. "I think it's a unique system of events whereby this happened. "We postulate there's a number of different issues - the type of liver failure that she had, some of the drugs that we use early on to suppress the immune system and also that she suffered an infection with a virus called CMV, or cytomegalovirus, which can also suppress the immune system."'"
January 24, 2008
CMV Retinitis: Neglected Disease of the AIDS Pandemic Causing Blindness in Southeast Asia
Treatment to Prevent Blindness at an “Impossible Price”
It is not uncommon for people living with advanced HIV/AIDS in Southeast Asia to go completely blind, mysteriously, and in a very short period of time. In fact, these irreversible cases of blindness are caused by Cytomegalovirus (CMV), a member of the herpes virus family, which leads to blindness in those with compromised immune systems.
Blindness caused by CMV is preventable, but the treatments are invasive and far from ideal—injections directly into the affected eye or intravenous, twice-daily treatment. A four-month supply of the best available treatment, valganciclovir—an oral medication produced by Hoffmann-La Roche—costs $10,000 and is simply too expensive for some of the people most at risk of going blind.
Dr. David Wilson, former MSF medical coordinator in Thailand, explains why access to affordable valganciclovir is so critical in low and middle-income countries where CMV poses a major threat.
When did you first see CMV in the field?
It was a long time ago, before antiretroviral (ARV) treatment was available in Thailand. It seemed to be fairly common among patients who were very sick at home. At the time, MSF gave palliative, compassionate care for people who were very sick with AIDS. Some of them went blind and then died.
How did this change when MSF started providing antiretroviral treatment in 2000?
I remember everyone was feeling really great that we were going to start treating people with antiretrovirals, with the hope of bringing people back to normal life. I remember the first patient that we ever started on treatment, in fact the first patient started on antiretrovirals by MSF anywhere in the world. But I remember her well for a very unfortunate reason—within one month of starting treatment she became blind from CMV. But since she was on antiretroviral treatment, her health improved, so she became strong and she lived for a long time, but the antiretroviral treatment doesn’t treat the CMV.
So patients—most of whom are young and of working age— get a second chance at life thanks to ARV treatment, but then can go blind because of the untreated CMV infection. Why does CMV-induced blindness have such a devastating impact on patients and their families?
The particular kind of blindness caused by CMV is absolute, total blindness. The patient cannot tell the difference between light and dark. They can see nothing. Someone who is blind from cataracts, for example, they can usually distinguish some things, they need some help, but often they can manage. But someone with CMV, when everything is totally, totally black it’s very difficult for them to eat without someone actually feeding them, for example, or to do very much of anything to help themselves. It’s a very, very severe kind of blindness.
How can CMV be treated in developing countries?
There are two possible medicines: one is ganciclovir and in Western countries this is given by intravenous injection, two times a day for three weeks followed by one time a day for three months. Alternatively, this same drug can be injected directly into the eye by a doctor with some experience with that technique. This only needs to be done once a week or once every two weeks, so is easier for the patient and is much cheaper. However, this only treats CMV in the eye, and CMV can cause other severe disease in other parts of the body. Better than that drug is a tablet which is chemically similar, called valganciclovir. It can be dispensed by a nurse or someone without expertise in giving injections. The patient can take the pills one time a day at home.
So there is better treatment, but it’s not in wide use, why?
There is effective treatment but it’s too expensive—$10,000 for a four-month course of treatment. It’s a monopoly product from a big pharmaceutical company, Hoffman-La Roche. In terms of diagnosis, we have a strategy to make the diagnosis; it does involve training people, getting experienced people to make a diagnosis. That’s feasible and that’s manageable but then once we have the diagnosis, we need the treatment and the problem is the treatment is at an impossible price.
What is MSF calling for?
We need Roche to lower the price and make it affordable. We’re asking Roche to reduce their price to $500 for a four-month treatment. Roche has offered a price of $1,899 for least developed countries. Thailand and China, considered middle income countries by the World Bank, are not eligible for this discounted price.
I’ve been working in MSF projects and treating people with AIDS with antiretrovirals for seven years now and along with many colleagues we’ve been frustrated because we don’t have treatment for this particular disease. We now think we have a strategy to diagnose it effectively and what we really need is the medicine to treat the patients.
Vical acquires rights to Wistar's CMV vaccine technologies
Tuesday, January 22, 2008; Posted: 10:07 AM
More Breaking News about VICL
Vical, Wistar Institute Sign Licensing Agreement
VICL: License Agreement w/The Wistar Institute for Towne Strain of CMV
Vical Gets Exclusive, Worldwide Rights To Wistar's Towne Strain Of Cytomegalovirus - Quick Facts
Jan 22, 2008 (Datamonitor via COMTEX) -- VICL | news | PowerRating | PR Charts -- Vical has signed a license agreement with the Wistar Institute that grants Vical exclusive, worldwide rights to Wistar's Towne strain of cytomegalovirus and related technologies.
The Towne strain is an attenuated, or weakened, form of human cytomegalovirus (CMV) developed for potential vaccine applications. Vijay Samant, president and CEO of Vical, said: "CMV is an important target for Vical, and the Wistar technology adds to our already-strong intellectual property in this field."
U.S. CDC urges doctors to combat birth-defect virus
Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:47pm EST
By Will Dunham
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Too few U.S doctors are telling pregnant women about steps they can take to avoid a virus that causes serious birth defects in thousands of babies each year, U.S. health officials said on Thursday.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged more obstetricians and gynecologists to counsel women who are pregnant or may become pregnant to take hygiene steps to guard against becoming infected with cytomegalovirus, or CMV.
Contact with the saliva or urine of preschool-age children is a leading cause of this viral infection among pregnant women, according to the CDC. Congenital cytomegalovirus infection is caused when an infected mother passes the virus to her fetus through the placenta.
The CDC said such infection occurs in about 1 in 150 babies born in the United States, some of whom develop hearing or vision loss, mental disability or other problems. It is the leading infectious cause of birth defects and developmental disabilities in the United States, according to the CDC.
(School age children pass this virus? Hmmm maybe its a monkey virus they received compliments of their newly injected polio vaccine?)
Novartis Acquires License To Vaccine That May Prevent Cytomegalovirus
By Dianna Cooper
18:55, December 29th 2008
The North Carolina-based company AlphaVax has sold the rights to an experimental vaccine it is developing for $20 million to Novartis, the multinational pharmaceutical company based in Basel, Switzerland.
Provided that the treatment with the experimental vaccine will prove efficient in clinical trials, Novartis will also have to pay extra milestone fees and royalties.
The vaccine could help prevent cytomegalovirus (CMV), a common type of Herpes virus that can cause serious complications in people with weakened immune systems – for instance, AIDS or cancer sufferers, as well as newborns.
"We are happy to gain access to a promising vaccine candidate for the prevention of cytomegalovirus infections," said Andrin Oswald, CEO of Novartis' vaccines and diagnostics arm.
The deal was announced Monday by Novartis, which is responsible for the commercialization of the drug across the world. The vaccine is expected to enter phase II clinical trials in the coming year.
Since 1997, when it was funded, AlphaVax has attracted over $125 million in grants, private equity and other funding. The company that has bought the rights to the experimental drug will develop it through early-stage human trials.
According to Novartis, almost 80 percent of people in the U.S. carry CMV by the time they reach adulthood. Usually, they don’t feel any symptoms, but some of them may experience low fever, fatigue or enlarged lymph nodes.
Cytomegalovirus is present in body fluids (such as urine, saliva and semen) and can be transmitted via kissing, sexual contact, the sharing of food or from mother to fetus.
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