Swine Influenza (Flu)
Replikins Ltd. published a FluForecast(R) warning in April 7th, 2008, a year before the recent Mexico and California H1N1 cases. The company was able to state the likelihood of H1N1 outbreaks based on its patented Replikin Count(TM) genomics technology, which examines specific regions in virus genes which have been linked with past epidemics.
The April 2008 announcement, attached below as published on the Web, stated that in H1N1 the company had then detected the highest concentrations of these specific regions ever seen, except for those from the 1918 pandemic which killed millions of people. Today, the company is actively pursuing licensing partnerships to apply its groundbreaking technology not only to early warning systems, but also to the development of synthetic vaccines to prevent or slow future epidemics.
A synthetic H1N1 Replikins Vaccine is available for testing. A similar synthetic Replikin Vaccine has been shown to successfully block the entry of H5N1 virus into, replication in, and excretion from chickens. The company is able to produce these vaccines in as little as 7 days, rather than the many months needed for traditional vaccines, because they are synthesized at the peptide level.
The viruses are resistant to amantadine and rimantadine anti-viral drugs but they are sensitive or susceptible to oseltamivir and zanamivir, the newer anti-viral drugs for flu. And at this time we don’t know exactly how people got the virus. None of the patients have had direct contact with pigs.
“You can get swine influenza without direct contact but it’s a bit more unusual. And we believe at this point that human-to-human spread is occurring. That’s unusual. We don’t know yet how widely it’s spreading and we certainly don’t know the extent of the problem. We’re taking active steps to learn more and to make sure that we’re on top of the situation. We’re working closely with health officials in California and in Texas and we’re working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture exploring illness in pigs and other animals.” [ANNE SCHUCHAT, MD, Interim Deputy Director for Science]