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A New Way to Predict Outbreaks: Replikin Peptide Concentration in H5N1 Influenza Virus Genome as a Marker for Lethal Outbreaks
Date:11/12/2008

BOSTON, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- WHO and CDC have stated that the predictive accuracy of their annual formulations for human influenza vaccines is "suboptimal" -- often correct less than 50% of the time, especially for seniors. Perhaps in part because we are not yet accurate in our predictions of upcoming influenza strains, approximately 36,000 people die each year of flu in the United States alone.

As in the case of hurricanes, early warning of the location and intensity of virus outbreaks would allow us more rapidly and effectively to defend ourselves with strain-specific vaccines. This is now possible.

To provide this vital knowledge, Drs. Samuel and Elenore Bogoch of the Foundation for Research on the Nervous System and Replikins Ltd. of Boston ("Replikins") are presenting new technology at the 7th International Bird Flu Summit in Las Vegas November 13-14, 2008 that can accurately predict which viral strains are poised to attack human populations, and reveal the location from which this viral strain is going to strike. This service is being offered to WHO and CDC.

The key to this predictive technology is a new class of structural virus peptides that have been shown to be involved in the chemistry of rapid replication. The Drs. Bogoch called them "Replikins," and they are strictly defined by the concentration of lysine and histidine residues and the spacing between them. To demonstrate the correlation between the concentration of replikins and the lethality of influenza virus outbreaks, Replikins Ltd. has developed software called FluForecast(R), which counts the number of replikins in the sequences of each strain of flu virus across the years -- and thanks to the data in public databases like PubMed, we now can track as far as 90 years back.

What Replikins have found is that there's a strong correlation between the concentration of replikins and the lethality of an influenza virus outbreak. This allows us to determine in advance
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SOURCE Replikins Ltd.
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