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Numbers

Cullen's Research - Duke

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Numbers

Hi everyone,

I am a little concerned that I am reading some posts saying the Cullen's reasearch won't work on HSV 2. I don't think this is entirely correct. I also think that we sometimes need to remember that we are not doctors or researchers ourselves. Dr. Cullen does not communicate often directly with us, but I suggest that you look back at the previous post which included a direct communication and update:

http://www.herpes-coldsores.com/messageforum/archive/t-25294.html

In particular this part of the post:

What is the current status of your research?

Currently, we have completed our work on identifying small regulatory

microRNAs encoded by the genital herpes virus, HSV-2, and it turns out that

these are very similar to what we see in HSV-1 (oral herpes). So, a similar

treatment approach may succeed with both viruses. We are continuing our

efforts to test new “antisense” drugs in mice, and this work is moving

rather slowly at present, given the cost of animal experiments. However,

our initial data are promising. It will certainly still be years until we

have a drug candidate ready for clinical trial. I am sorry that we cannot

move faster, but am hopeful that a new grant proposal will be funded and

will allow us to proceed more rapidly.

We hope this information answers your questions and is helpful. Please be

assured that we are continuing to work on the problem of developing novel

HSV-1 and HSV-2 treatment approaches.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Please consider that the inital Time magazine article is from 2008 and research has been ongoing since then. Duke has been working on HSV 2 in research papers. You can find them if you google enough. Also this post for which I supplied the link is from the Spring 2010, so that information is more current.

I just think we need to be careful in the way that we interpret some of the information that we are reading. I would not discount Duke's reasearch as leading to a cure for HSV 2.

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HopeAlive

Thanks

Thank you for that update, Numbers. Even though Dr. Cullen is only in the early stages of his research I think it's still important that we try to acquire funds for him. I say we do another Pepsi Refresh Campaign. We learned a lot from our experience with Dr. Bloom and I'm sure we can repeat with Cullen. If he's willing to apply I'm surely willing to support. I want to see a cure within the next five years!!!

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CurePlease

Agree. I've actually already prepared an application for August's Pepsi Refresh Challenge to fund Bloom, Cullen, and Knipe research (one grant split up between these). Someone posted that Knipe no longer accepts donations because his herpes research is funded by a company now, but I just went to his website which still has the donation page active. So I guess I will have to dig further. I'll post here the second I know if Pepsi accepted it and is ready to receive votes.

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PrayForCure

Yes, I think we need to support all potential Herpes research...

I totally agree with you all. I think we can't just focus on one research. Even though Dr. Bloom's research has very promising data about a possible cure, we still need to diversify our options so that our chance of finding a cure is much closer.

It is like an economic world. When there are competitions, there are improvement, quality, and customer satisfaction. Therefore, we should not ignore Dr. Cullen's and Dr. Knipe's research.

I also noticed that HCC primarily supports Dr. Bloom's research. Just curious for you folks who would like to extend your funding efforts to other possible Herpes research like Dr. Cullen's and Dr. Knipe's, will you create another Herpes alliance or you will just work with HCC? From the tone of HCC posts, they don't seem to be interested in promoting other research except for Dr. Bloom's research.

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BetterDays

Yet billions were spent to send a probe to take pictures of Pluto...can only imagine how much that would help viral research...

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mamaem
I totally agree with you all. I think we can't just focus on one research. Even though Dr. Bloom's research has very promising data about a possible cure, we still need to diversify our options so that our chance of finding a cure is much closer.

It is like an economic world. When there are competitions, there are improvement, quality, and customer satisfaction. Therefore, we should not ignore Dr. Cullen's and Dr. Knipe's research.

I also noticed that HCC primarily supports Dr. Bloom's research. Just curious for you folks who would like to extend your funding efforts to other possible Herpes research like Dr. Cullen's and Dr. Knipe's, will you create another Herpes alliance or you will just work with HCC? From the tone of HCC posts, they don't seem to be interested in promoting other research except for Dr. Bloom's research.

??????

read this thread

http://www.herpes-coldsores.com/messageforum/showthread.php?t=28214

To me, it seems like Peregrine would be next on the agenda. If I'm not completely wrong...

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Cure Coming Soon

I don't understand why everyone is so wrapped up on the reseach Peregrine is doing. They've stated there research works against HSV, but currently aren't researching it. Dr. Cullen has been research a cure for years now. Cullen's only set back is funding. He put in a request for 1.25Mil/Yearly for 5 years from the NIH. He should have an answer by now. I emailed him a few weeks ago but haven't received a reply. Cullens research is to cure HSV completely.

Back to Peregrine. Many members of this website have contacted them and have been told the same thing. Bavi has been shown to work on HSV... but they have no plans at this time to begin research.

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Numbers

I really do hope that Cullen's team will get back to you, CCS.

Hopefully, he will consider applying for the Pepsi grant. I voted all month for Bloom and would certainly do the same for Cullen's team. It would be great to get some more funding this way.

I am sure that you will keep us posted.

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mamaem
I don't understand why everyone is so wrapped up on the reseach Peregrine is doing. They've stated there research works against HSV, but currently aren't researching it. Dr. Cullen has been research a cure for years now. Cullen's only set back is funding. He put in a request for 1.25Mil/Yearly for 5 years from the NIH. He should have an answer by now. I emailed him a few weeks ago but haven't received a reply. Cullens research is to cure HSV completely.

Back to Peregrine. Many members of this website have contacted them and have been told the same thing. Bavi has been shown to work on HSV... but they have no plans at this time to begin research.

I could tell you why people are so wrappped up on Bavi; because it seems very promising. And maybe they are not testing on HSV specifically, but if it seems to work that might be on the agenda at a later stage - who knows? They would need funding, sure - but that is not to say it is not possible!

Hope you're right about Cullen and that he gets back to you, fingers crossed!!!

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accelerate the response

If, like me, you want the earliest possible end to this "condition" as some call it, (I would call it a curse), then you HAVE to look at who is nearest to clinical use of a product that MAY be a cure.

This research paper is among the many reasons I have stressed on this BB that the HCC or we "sufferers", as I gather we are called, should focus on Peregrine and Bavituximab:

http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v14/n12/full/nm.1885.html

After reading this paper and noting the many references to herpes in it I contacted Peregrine and received an email saying that yes, herpes infection expresses the proteins on the surface of infected cells that bav. is designed to enable the human immune system to target, but they are not doing any further research due to that number one reason herpes research has not gone anywhere for years: LACK OF FUNDS. They also confirmed that bav. is in clinical trials RIGHT NOW as an anti-viral.

So, bav. already has FDA approval as an anti-viral. It is clinical trial right now. Herpes expresses the proteins bav. can target. It might well work as a CURE but lack of funds means that they are not researching it.

Isn't this where the HCC or another group comes in and says: "OK, we can get you the funds for initial research"?

I understand that the Pepsi challenge money can go to universities, charities and corporates, in other words, it could go to Peregrine.

By all means, let's keep applying for funding through the challenge and let's support all viable herpes research that could lead to a cure but I believe we ought to rank that support ACCORDING TO WHO IS NEAREST TO A POTENTIAL CURE IN CLINICAL USE, and right now that looks like bavituximab.

The sum of money given to Dr Bloom will enable his research to progress using the standard research models. If Peregrine had the same amount, they could run their monoclonal antibody through similar tests to establish efficacy. If it works, we could see a variation of bavituximab in clinical trials very quickly for use as a treatment against herpes. With Dr's Bloom and Cullen they both admit it will be MANY years before their ideas reach a clinic.

What would make Peregrine hesitate then to research bav. as a herpes treatment themselves?

1) They had always planned other uses for the drug in fields like oncology, which are deemd more clinically significant, and herpes is regarded by many in the medical community as "just a skin complaint";

2) any treatment with bav will be very expensive because of the cost of production of the bav product itself;

3) it would, in the case of hsv, have to be called a "treatment" and not a "cure" because there is no way, short of hacking out your ganglia, to check the infected ones are now virus free so that you can prove that the infection is no longer there - they would have to apply a dosing regime that had been shown to work in the lab. You would then have to see if no further outbreaks occurred. You would, having been exposed to hsv, always have the antibodies to it in your bloodstream so again, they could not call it a cure, but in effect that is what it very well could be, even if, for legal and practical reasons, they could not call it that, just a "treatment".

4) given the constraints in 3) above it is little wonder perhaps that Peregrine may have deceided NOT to focus on HSV research as a use for bav.

So, I suggested people write to Peregrine to state their keeness to see them progress HSV research for bav and that there would be an enormous market among people willing to pay for such a treatment against HSV infection, i.e. to suggest to them that using bav. against HSV would actually be a very profitable thing for them to do, such that the research would be well worth conducting.

I suggest here that we consider applying to Pepsi again and directing those funds this time to Peregrine, if they will accept them, so that we can establish whether bav can work, as the paper above suggests it will, against HSV infection. Then let's do it for Knipe, Cullen, Duke etc but the nearest to clincal use right NOW is Peregrine and bavituximab. So let's see if they will accept the money and do the research.

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mamaem

You cannot submit grants on behalf of University researchers. They must submit the grants themselves as no one can accept the money for them.

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bnm123

The HCC should now focus on funding Cullen, anything else is a distraction.

He is managing a world-class lab and (as far as I understand) they are already testing their HSV drug, alebit on a very small scale due to funding constraints. Cullen's approach is the only thing at the moment which could eradicate the HSV from the body which means a cure (not a fortified inhibitor),

There is no point in splitting a 50K grant, which is a relatively small amount (research-wise) between multiple recipients.

As for bath., there is currently no indication it is effective against against HSV, only speculations and there are still many unanswered questions regarding it. Plus, it does not make sense to fund a commercial company. The HCC should focus on promising academic early-stage research for potential cures.

Laslty, Cullen seems pretty busy (his lab studies multiple virus, not only HSV) and he's probably overloaded with emails. It's probably best to call him and coordinate how to move the Pepsi application forwarded.

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accelerate the response

Bnm123 you are of course entitled to your point of view, however Peregrine have written to me saying they know bav works against herpes, but THEY JUST DONT HAVE THE FUNDS TO RESEARCH IT for clinical use in that field.

As I understand it the proposal was to vote for Pepsi refresh funding for herpes research every month.

My suggestion remains that, if Peregrine will ask for it as required, then we support an application by them with the necessary votes for the next application. By all means, let's vote for Cullen, if he applies, in a subsequent month after that.

If $50,000 is enough for Bloom to carry out significant tests then I am sure it would enable Peregrine to do similar work that could establishe the efficacy or otherwise of bav against herpes using the standard lab models used for this work.

The key difference between Cullen and Bavituximab is that Bav has FDA approval as an anti-viral drug right now. If it works, it is a "cure" because it unmasks herpes infected cells to the body's own immune system for clearance. Cullen's research is literally years away from a clinic. Bavituximab is already in one! To my mind time is of the essence.

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bnm123

Accelerate,

Thanks for allowing me to have my own point of view.

Your reply contains several issues:

1.

however Peregrine have written to me saying they know bav works against herpes, but THEY JUST DONT HAVE THE FUNDS TO RESEARCH IT for clinical use in that field

What exactly does that mean? is there clinical data to show it is effective? as I understand per. have not tested bath. against HSV and they are purely speculating. If you have references showing it has been clinically tested and found effective by all means provide them.

2.

If $50,000 is enough for Bloom to carry out significant tests then I am sure it would enable Peregrine to do similar work that could establishe the efficacy or otherwise of bav against herpes using the standard lab models used for this work.

50K is enough to push animal testing but it is a fraction of what's needed for human trial due to safety procedures etc. . To conduct human trial Per. needs a few millions. Asking the HCC to fund human trials is like asking them to help NASA send a man to moon.

3.

The key difference between Cullen and Bavituximab is that Bav has FDA approval as an anti-viral drug right now.

This is simply incorrect. The FDA lists all approved drugs on its website:

http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/drugsatfda/

Bath. is not there. You might have meant it is undergoing FDA trials, but like any other experimental drug this is a long way from it being approved.

The HCC needs to decide based on facts not fiction. To summarize, the facts are:

1. Bath, is an experimental drug currently undergoing trials unrelated to HSV.

2. There is no clinical data showing it is effective against HSV.

3. Peregrine is reluctant to test bath. against HSV.

4. Cullen has developed an approach to awaken latent HSV which allows to kill the latent virus and eradicate HSV from the body.

5. He has or very shortly will start animal tests but needs further funding to push research faster.

All in all, it's clear Cullen should be the next focus of HCC.

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mamaem

Bavituximab isn't tested on HSV at this point DUE TO LACK OF FUNDING. And "Asking the HCC to fund human trials is like asking them to help NASA send a man to moon", well HCC doesn't have the money. If they had that sort funds, rest assured they would do it! You can't donate to the HCC, so where would the money come from? Anyways, think we should leave the HCC out of this as they are actually not even involved in this thread. do however agree that Cullen ALSO needs to move forward. But I'm leaning more towards what Accelerate is saying.

My five cents.

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fairymoon77

off label

It is possible they already know Bavi works on Herpes, but actually testing it for FDA and being able to legally market it for Herpes are two different things. It is possible to use it off label. Wellbutrin was intially for depression but was prescribed by doctors off label for people trying to quit smoking.

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schmack
It is possible they already know Bavi works on Herpes, but actually testing it for FDA and being able to legally market it for Herpes are two different things. It is possible to use it off label. Wellbutrin was intially for depression but was prescribed by doctors off label for people trying to quit smoking.

If this ends up being some kind of miracle cure for herpes, I think we will find out one way or another. I'm not sure we really need a group of people focusing on this.

I also don't really know how this Cullen guy developed such a cult following around here. The research is interesting, but it's not really a clear path to a cure. Even if they can somehow activate a massive amount of latent virus at once, it's still not clear how anything is actually going to kill it. This is a long, long, long, long, long ways off if it's ever going to happen. I don't think people on here realize how incredibly optimistic this research is. The people giving out the grants aren't stupid. If this really had a lot of potential, funding wouldn't be a problem.

In my opinion, we should focus on something much closer and more tangible. Like getting one of these vaccines that is proving effective in animals tested on humans and on the market.

Edit: or maybe petitioning the FDA to speed up approval of something like the microbicide that recently proved effective at blocking hsv in human trials.

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bnm123
I also don't really know how this Cullen guy developed such a cult following around here. The research is interesting, but it's not really a clear path to a cure. Even if they can somehow activate a massive amount of latent virus at once, it's still not clear how anything is actually going to kill it. This is a long, long, long, long, long ways off if it's ever going to happen. I don't think people on here realize how incredibly optimistic this research is. The people giving out the grants aren't stupid. If this really had a lot of potential, funding wouldn't be a problem.

Do your homework before posting. Cullen's method works by exciting/awakening the latent virus so it exits the nerve cells and can then be killed by existing drugs. So Cullen is targeting the latency the HSV mechanism since anti-HSV drugs already exist (but can target only active virus).

There is no "cult" for Cullen-he's research is currently the most promisiing approach. And it is also not that "long, long, long, long, long ways off" since as already mentioned they are in early animal testing. If all goes well a drug can be on the market in few years.

Lastly, Cullen has already received multiple NIH grants for his HSV research but more funding are needed to push research forward.

Again, do your homework before posting.

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schmack
Do your homework before posting. Cullen's method works by exciting/awakening the latent virus so it exits the nerve cells and can then be killed by existing drugs. So Cullen is targeting the latency the HSV mechanism since anti-HSV drugs already exist (but can target only active virus).

The virus is just a section of DNA that has attached itself to the dna of healthy nerve cells. It is never going to "exit" the cell. Most of the research involves the mechanism that allows the virus to become latent (ie., stop replicating). I believe the idea is to somehow turn off the mechanism that stops the virus from replicating, thereby killing all of the infected cells themselves somehow. Anti-HSV drugs do not "kill" the virus. They prevent it from replicating.

There is no "cult" for Cullen-he's research is currently the most promisiing approach. And it is also not that "long, long, long, long, long ways off" since as already mentioned they are in early animal testing. If all goes well a drug can be on the market in few years.

I don't really know if his is the most promising approach for a cure or not. I do know there are many possible treatments and means of prevention that are much closer and more likely to succeed. I was unaware that he had actually started to test something on animals. I look forward to the results. I do not agree that anything from this could be on the market in a few years, however.

Lastly, Cullen has already received multiple NIH grants for his HSV research but more funding are needed to push research forward.

Again, do your homework before posting.

I don't know what funding he has gotten, but I am dubious of anybody who needs our help to get $50,000.

I have researched the approach to the extent that my background allows. For a good discussion of the science, see http://racoon.com/dcforum/news/1374.html (comments by rajah, windy, etc.).

Undoubtedly this research could be an important piece in a puzzle somewhere, but I think people should have at least somewhat realistic expectations.

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bnm123

It will be helpful if everyone read the recent Q&A with Cullen:

http://www.herpes-coldsores.com/messageforum/showthread.php?t=25294

Funding wise he has so far been awarded two NIH grants which have pushed research but animal testing is costly and funds eventually run out and so extra cash means faster progress. I agree (as I've posted previously) with the previous poster about being cautious with researchers who are unable to raise 50K by themselves.

As a reminder, Cullen's lab is world class and researches multiple areas (not only HSV).

http://mgm.duke.edu/faculty/cullen/

It is not an ad-hoc team of 2-3 researchers who are vying for the HCC to raise funds. As he mentioned in the Q&A they have or shortly will start trials with mice. Any extra funds the HCC can raise will push his research faster into clinical trials.

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solvingtheproblem
researchers who are unable to raise 50K by themselves

I think this $50k number is only relevant to Dr. Bloom's research, as it was the amount his lab requested. It has not been disclosed what the "magic number" is for Dr. Cullen. I suspect it is far more than $50k...

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accelerate the response

BNM123 thanks for your reply. Perhaps the best person to describe whether bavituximab (which for convenience I will shorten to bav, and is what I assume you mean when you refer to "bath") works against herpes is the lead researcher, Dr Thorpe. Here is what he said about bav:

Question: Can you tell me more about Bavituximab?

Dr. Thorpe explained that Bavituximab is an antibody – or more concisely a protein produced by the immune system – that binds to a flipped cellular phospholipid, called phosphatidylserine. He went on to state that when cells are activated or stressed they expose their phosphatidylserine. This occurs on cells that line blood vessels inside tumors and on virally infected cells. Bavituximab binds to the phosphatidylserine and helps the immune system recognize the diseased cells. These actions then trigger an immune system response that clears the virally infected cells and their infectious virions. Dr. Thorpe’s study further demonstrates that the addition of traditional anti-viral drugs further facilitates the removal of these viruses, at least in guinea pigs and mice.

Question: How did you become involved with Bavituximab research?

Dr. Thorpe recalled that his original goal was to develop Bavituximab for the treatment of cancer. Along the way, he realized that it may also be an effective anti-viral drug. At this point, Dr. Thorpe recruited Dr. Melina Soares with whom he collaborated on the Nature Medicine study being discussed today.

Question: In light of the high incidence of latent viral-based diseases, do you think Bavituximab could be the answer to treating these seemingly incurable sicknesses?

Dr. Thorpe explained that viral drug resistance is a huge problem for conventional anti-viral drugs because the viruses rapidly mutate to acquire new properties that render them drug resistant. Bavituximab is a conceptually new drug that works in a way that makes viral drug resistance less likely. Bavituximab acts on the infected host cell itself rather than on the virus. Because the host cell is genetically stable, resistance may not develop. He believes that his Bavituximab study will redirect scientists’ attention on developing other drugs that exploit characteristics of infected host cells and believes this constitutes one of the most important aspects of his research. He also added that Bavituximab is considered a prototype that will be followed up with more refined (e.g. fully human) variants of the drug. Newer versions of Bavituximab are expected to have improved anti-viral activity.

Question: Do all latent viruses trigger exposure of phosphatidylserine?

Dr. Thorpe stated that the active (i.e., viral replication) phase always appears to triggers exposure of phosphatidylserine, but that it is currently unknown whether cells in which the virus has become dormant, or ‘latent’, will continue to have exposed phosphatidylserine.

Question: Regarding your specific study, any idea why you didn’t get a 100% cure rate when combined with anti-viral therapy?

Dr. Thorpe answered that this remains unclear at this point. He added that one possibility is that guinea pigs are not inbred like mice (i.e., increased genetic variability) and that this is area for further study.

Question: Is Bavituximab safe for humans? Could Bavituximab induce an auto-immune disorder? Can it pass the brain-blood-barrier (BBB)?

Dr. Thorpe reported that Bavituximab treatment appears to be well tolerated with few side effects. He also said that there has been no evidence of an autoimmune reaction in the many patients who have received treatment. He said it is not known whether Bavituximab crosses the BBB , but that he would not be surprised if it does not.

Question: Where is Bavituximab with the FDA process? Should Bavituximab be “fast tracked” through the FDA process in light of the millions of people who are sick and dying from viral-based diseases?

Dr. Thorpe described two ongoing phase 1 clinical trials – one with Hepatitis C, and another with Hepatitis C and HIV. In regard to “fast-tracking” the drug, Dr. Thorpe hopes that the FDA will adopt this attitude.

Question: Have you conducted additional Bavituximab studies with any of the viruses mentioned in the Nature Medicine article or with the herpes (oral/genital) and Epstein Bar (EBV) viruses?

Dr. Thorpe reported that Bavituximab has now been tested with HIV in collaboration with Dr. Barton Haynes and colleagues at Duke University Medical Center. He stated that they found that several antibodies which recognize phosphatidylserine can control HIV proliferation in cultured cells and can control multiple clades of HIV – adding that this is a very big finding. Dr. Thorpe further responded that Bavituximab has not been studied with genital or oral herpes or EBV. Also, he said that it is not known whether cells infected with viruses like these which can become latent will continue to have exposed phosphatidylserine. He went on to state that this may not matter because the current thought is that you might be able to deplete the pool of virus during the active phase of infection and if the latent pool of virus can not be replenished then it will die out.

Question: How long until Bavituximab is available for public use? Is this something that will be available in the foreseeable future?

Dr. Thorpe politely declined to discuss time frames.

So, bav works against active HSV infection but THEY DONT KNOW if it works against latent infection. My suggestion was that the HCC help them find that out, urgently!!

You are right, it is not YET an approved drug but it IS in a clinical trial in human beings, LIGHT YEARS ahead of anything else.

Here is what Cullen had to say in HIS interview:

What is the current status of your research?

"Currently, we have completed our work on identifying small regulatory

microRNAs encoded by the genital herpes virus, HSV-2, and it turns out that these are very similar to what we see in HSV-1 (oral herpes). So, a similar treatment approach may succeed with both viruses. We are continuing our efforts to test new “antisense” drugs in mice, and this work is moving rather slowly at present, given the cost of animal experiments. However,our initial data are promising. It will certainly still be years until we have a drug candidate ready for clinical trial. I am sorry that we cannot move faster, but am hopeful that a new grant proposal will be funded and will allow us to proceed more rapidly."

So, bnm123, there you have it from the horses mouth, so to speak. Bav is in a human clinical trial as an anti viral TODAY. Cullen says he is YEARS away from such a drug. My aim is your aim is the HCC aim - end the scourge of being infected by HSV as soon as we practically can. Bav, although likely to be a very expensive treatment, looks like it may well be effective and the lead researcher thinks so in an interview. I say we back them.

Costs? Well, the appollo moon program cost was estimated as follows:

In 2009, NASA held a symposium on project costs which presented an estimate of the Apollo program costs in 2005 dollars as roughly $170 billion.

If that was spent on HSV research we would not be suffering now! If the toal annual burden of HSV infection on the US economy IN ONE YEAR, one billion dollars, was spent on research we would be unlikely to be suffering now, or at least the mechanism of latency would be thoroughly understood, rather than being researched by tiny teams of virologists who have to scrabble around for $50,000 just to get started!

If we want a cure or as good as we need a patient advocacy foundation that can raise substantial sums and concentrate effort. Perhaps the HCC can be it but those infected need to take some control, donate and get this effort moving.

If the HCC ws a not-for-profit foundation that could raise tax deductible contributions and there are an estimated 45 to 60 million HSV2 infected Americans let's say just 6 million gave a dollar each. 6 million dollars would buy a lot of research into efficacy on latency. 6 million dollars may change Peregrine's mind about doing in vitro and lab testing in the standard models of HSV disease as to whether it works on latent virus in ganglia. I never suggested that the HCC fund a clinical human trial! If the studies show it DID work against latent viruses I suspect peregrine would have little difficulty raising the money for human clinical trials.

Perhpas this debate points a way ahead for the HCC or something very like it as a not-for-profit that raises the funds that this desperately neglected area of medicine needs?

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Sweet7

Wow. After reading all of this, it sounds to me like there would have to be a combination of drugs to kill herpes. Bav targets infected host cells. Is there any evidence that Bav can go into the spine and target the nerve cells? If I understand what Dr. Thorpe was saying, bav can only attack the virus when it is in the host cells during a bo. Thats why he mentioned a reduction in viral load. I do think that Bav can be a great treatment option, but I don’t see it as a complete cure. Bav does not attack the virus itself. That takes another drug. Maybe AIC-316 can do that. But the thing is, it all has to come out of the spine. From doing other research, I have read that only a small percentage comes out of the spine during bo’s and shedding. The full load is much much larger. I’ll post that article when I can find it again. If Bav were to be a cure, it could take years of being on it before the whole viral load is out of the spine. That’s if it’s possible to happen naturally. That could also be more expensive in the long run. I still think that Cullens team is on the right path but they can’t do it alone. They need the funds to be ramped up and continue to work with other pharmaceutical companies to complete the combination. As far as proving a cure I think the easiest way may be during human trials, when bo’s have stopped, swabs can be done several times a day and if there is no evidence of viral shedding for a period of time, then that may be enough proof. I sure hope that somehow we can all get on the same page. I think that will have a major impact on getting the cure much faster. I think it’s very possible for a cure to happen in the next five years. We just got to get the billionaires that are giving away half of their fortunes to help donate the research we agree on. Bill Gates started that campaign and Warren Buffet is on board with many others. I heard about that announcement on here. So, if we can all agree, we better do it quick while the offer may be available.

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bnm123

Sweet7 - exactly my thoughts.

People seem to fail to understand that HSV is different since it hides in the nerve cells.

No matter what new drug comes out, if it doesn't affect the latent viral cache it is not going to be a cure. Even if a drug disables/kills/inhibits infected cells during a BO it affects only the trickle of infected cell exposed during a BO. To be effective means such a drug would probably have to be taken on regular basis for years.

The only approach, AFAIK, which aims to target the latent cache is Cullen's. The HCC needs to focus now on funding him and accelerating his animal testing into clinical trials.

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accelerate the response

Question: Do all latent viruses trigger exposure of phosphatidylserine?

Dr. Thorpe stated that the active (i.e., viral replication) phase always appears to triggers exposure of phosphatidylserine, but that it is currently unknown whether cells in which the virus has become dormant, or ‘latent’, will continue to have exposed phosphatidylserine.

Look, 99% us know exactly where the latent virus lives! I have read academic research papers until my eyeballs bleed! Peregrine's lead scientist says above that it is CURRENTLY unknown whether bav can target latent virus. Not "IT CANT". Finding out seems a sure bet in a world where, on Cullen's own admission, it is years before his research could lead to a clinical trial.

Note what Cullen says:

"It will certainly still be years until we have a drug candidate ready for clinical trial. I am sorry that we cannot move faster, but am hopeful that a new grant proposal will be funded and will allow us to proceed more rapidly."

I repeat:

"My aim is your aim is the HCC aim - end the scourge of being infected by HSV as soon as we practically can."

Sure, let's try to have pepsi challenge grant funding for Cullen to accelerate the response there too but I suggest we establish whether latent viruses trigger exposure of phosphatidylserine before that, for the simple reason that the potential treatment is in a clinical trial for another viral infection right now, and therefore POTENTIALLY available to treat GHSV years sooner, IF it proves that latent virus does trigger exposure of phospholypids.

As a further issue, if Dr Bloom is working on ocular HSV treatment with his ribozymes and has stated that he is doing SOME work on HSV2, why not focus another round of pepsi grant money on him to enable greater concentration on the HSV2 side of his work as well? It appears that he is nearer to clinical use than Cullen, in as much as, by leading with the ocular hsv product he can claim "orphan drug status" and accelerate his HSV2 treatment into a clinical trial on that basis.

Be sure that I am 100% behind the fastest possible resolution of this infection, the cinderella of medicine. In the US there are a mere 20 clinical trials listed involving GHSV, 18 of which focus on valecyclovir related products. Not much innovation or response to an infection where there are a million new cases a year and perhaps 60 milion in the US living with GHSV. Time we got together as a patient advocacy group and changed that.

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    • TerribleAtUserNames
      Oh, sorry, I think the catchy title I used was very misleading. And I didn't intend that. I put 'miracle cure' as air quotes because I don't actually think I've discovered a true cure. I mean, I still can get outbreaks, the virus is obviously still there. I like to at least think I'm not that arrogant or naive. 🙄 I had not definitively said anything for a couple reasons, including that I don't prefer making overly definitive statements to things I don't know.  And I was more talking with regard to what you were saying in your second paragraph in your most recent reply, whether tissue absorption had any additional effect to simple topical application. So, hopefully that's cleared up. But it is effectively a functional cure for me. In so far as I've gone from permanent outbreaks to one maybe every... 8ish months? I barely remember I have it.  And the point is that the virus has really impacted some people's lives. To the point where they take crazy--high risk--'treatments' or think about self harm. And if some other people can get the relief I've gotten from something so stupidly simple, I want them to be able to have that too. Especially given that the risk-reward ratio is--in my opinion at least--very favourable. I mean, its like literally 20-30 seconds of isopropyl alcohol a day. If it doesn't do jack for you in two weeks, move on--y'know? But I assume if it acts a particular way for me, it will likely act that way for at least someone else. And that could really change someone's life... Like it did mine.  Cheers, 
    • Cas9
      @TerribleAtUserNames OK, you need to understand the science. Alcohol does not seep into a nerve cell and kill the latent virus; That's a scientific fact. So you don't need to worry about checking. All the alcohol does is kill the virus on the skin surface. Whether it gets a little deeper in the skin layers and kills virus better than soap and water, I can't say for sure. Obviously, popping a blister and using alcohol will have a more drying effect than soap and water. The bottom line is that killing a herpes virus is easy when it's outside the nerve cell. Killing it in a nerve cell is difficult because anything that gets into the cell and kills the virus (breaking up it's dna), must not also damage the cell's dna. You need a smart bomb to do that. That's what gene editing is. It is programmed to have the ability to cut out dna segments specific to the virus without touching the cells dna. You have this image of the cell as a container and the alcohol just pours into it and kills the virus. If that was the case, it would destroy the cell's dna also. Cells are living things that have receptors on their cellular surface. Anything that gets into that cell, must have the protein that matches with one of the cell's receptors (like a key to a lock), which in turn causes the cell to let the substance enter. That's one method of how something gets in a cell. Do you honestly think that in all the decades that great scientific minds have tried to tackle this problem, that they simply missed your alcohol cure? C'mon man!!!      
    • dont quit!17
      That would be nice to have as an option. 
    • dont quit!17
      The momentum slowed down, when that forum member asked for a timeline. That is the last thing we should be asking. That's pretty frustrating. 
    • TerribleAtUserNames
      Hey everyone, thanks for responding! So you know, I updated the original post with negative effects I've experienced with alcohol as treatment, so feel free to check that out if you're curious.  Now, to what you guys were saying...    MaxTX: I actually use alcohol as my disinfectant of choice for most wounds. And sutiability seems to vary based on the type of alcohol used (says the internet). That being said, you are right apparently--but this isn't about the best wound treatment method. Its about stopping outbreaks. Regardless, I suspect the deleterious effects are fairly minor if you're trying to disinfect most wounds, but that's totally my personal opinion.  None the less, I'd suggest giving it a shot for outbreak prevention. It certainly works for me, hopefully it will for you too. And compared to taking an experimental vaccine or something like that, wouldn't this be easy and super low risk to try? Also if you google 'herpes' and 'alcohol' you can find a number of hits suggesting its use as a disinfectant for the sores.   Tired of Waiting: I'm sorry, it was a long time ago that I read her talking about it. But from what I remember, she was talking about wiping down there with alcohol, and how it helped with her outbreaks. I remember her also saying it burned like a mofo at first, but eventually became kinda second nature. I don't know what type of alcohol she used, sorry. Again, if you're concerned, maybe ask your doctor about safety? Like I said, isopropyl has worked well for me. I actually do use it before sex for that reason, back when I was having sex that is. Across 3 partners used with, no known infections--but given that I have hsv 1, and like 50-60% of the population is infected already, but only 10% present with symptoms, that could mean nothing. Unfortunately, I'm not a doctor, and certainly not one that has researched this scientifically, so I can't give you a firm answer for transmission prevention during sex. Personally, I'm confident in at least isopropyl alcohol's herpes killing abilities, even if just topically. For better or worse, real or imagined (but I suspect real), I let myself relax a lot more when using it before sex.  And then again after sex, for my own sake, hahaha, as I'm not overly keen on risking anything else. However, even this is something to consult a doctor about--I feel like there is conflicting information on whether it can be helpful post coitus, or whether it can actually increase the risk of getting an sti vs. simply washing. Imo, do some research and ask a physician to confirm or deny what you've learned.   Cas9: Soap and water never worked anywhere close to as well for me. Soap and water still meant permanent outbreak. So I suspect the alcohol is doing much more. I should clarify though, that I do actually dilligently use soap and water as well--the whole regular bathing thing 😁 I know you suggested to Tired of Waiting that it wouldn't affect outbreak frequency or the latent virus. I can't obviously check my own latent virus levels, but yes I can still get outbreaks if I stop using the alcohol. However I can, indeed, use it as a prophylactic for outbreaks, and it does prevent me from getting them the vast majority of the time. Perhaps because that kind of tissue is more absorbent or something? Or perhaps when topically applied the alcohol is significantly more potent and herpes unfriendly--which I believe really is also the case from what I've read. I know though that I can't discontinue alcohol treatment for more than 6ish days (my limit so far) without flaring up again. And with twice daily showers, that would strongly imply that soap and water is really not helping the same way.  Cheers, guys! 
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