Boston Biotech Firm Reports First Rise in 76 Years of Replikin Count* of H1N1 Lethality Gene
Boston (PRWeb) June 11, 2009-- As the World Health Organization raised its pandemic alert to phase 6, the top of its six-point scale, a new analysis released yesterday (June 10) of the latest peptide genomic data for the H1N1 influenza virus shows that the current global outbreak of H1N1 is increasing in its capacity for lethality. The new sequence data on PubMed of the past two weeks through June 10, 2009 showed an increase in the Replikin Count* of the Replikin Lethality Gene in the pB1 genomic area from a mean of 2 in 2008 to a mean of 3.2 in 2009 (p<0.001). The Replikin Count of the Lethality Gene in 836 previous H1N1 influenza virus isolates has remained essentially unchanged (at 2) since 1933.
These analyses were conducted by the Boston-based biotech firm Replikins, Ltd. (www.replikins.com) using its FluForecast® software. A year ago (4/7/08), using the same software, the firm predicted the current H1N1 virus outbreak, and last month (5/23/09) an increase in the Replikin Count of the Replikin Infectivity Gene in the hemagglutinin area indicated a marked increase in infectivity of the evolving H1N1 virus.
"Last month the H1N1 genomic data indicated some bad and some good news. While it indicated an increase in the infectivity of the H1N1 virus, its lethality appeared to remain relatively low," noted Sam Bogoch MD PhD, chairman of Replikins Ltd. "However, the FluForecast® analysis of new data of the past few weeks , through June 10th, on 144 new specimens published on PubMed, indicate an increase in the current H1N1 outbreak's capacity for lethality. Since the software also permitted the automated analysis of all sequence data available on PubMed for all previous years, it was noted that this is the first such significant increase in the Replikin Count of the H1N1 Lethality Gene in 76 years. This is cause for concern and an accelerated vaccine effort."
For both the Infectivity Gene and the Lethality Gene, a significant increase in Replikin Count has invariably been followed by an increase in infectivity or lethality in influenza. Both the Replikin Infectivity Gene and the Replikin Lethality Gene have been found to act independently in all common influenza strains in human, swine, and bird hosts.
The company recently announced that it has made available for testing against H1N1 a Two-Punch™ PanFlu™ vaccine. The same vaccine system has been successfully tested against H5N1 in chickens.
About Replikins Ltd.
Replikins, LLC. (www.replikins.com), a Boston-based biotech company, and Replikins,Ltd., develop and market novel forecasting tools and synthetic vaccines to fight virulent rapidly replicating diseases including bird flu, malaria, and HIV. The company's predictive products and vaccines in development are based upon the company's discovery of Replikins, a new group of peptides related to the rapid replication function in viral and other diseases. The company has designed unique products to predict the emergence of virulent strains of particular diseases(FluForecast™) and is designing synthetic vaccines specifically tailored to combat a given strain and against shared properties of several strains (Syntope™ vaccines). The company is partnering with governments and the private sector in providing predictive tools and vaccines in furtherance of the public health initiative to prevent and combat epidemics.
*The company's vaccines and predictive tools are based on the company's discovery of a new group of peptides related to rapid replication called Replikins, whose increase in concentration in virus or other organism proteins (Replikin Count™ = number of replikins per 100 amino acids) is associated with rapid replication.
Contact: John McKenney
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