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University of Florida Professor Bloom's - 2011 Plan of Attack

Cure Coming Soon

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I received an email reply from Professor Bloom earlier today... The entire email is posted below.

Start of Professor Bloom's email.


Ribozyme Therapy Project

Our HSV Ribozyme Therapy Team at the University of Florida has been working on a new therapy to treat HSV infections for the last 8 years. Our team consists of Alfred Lewin, Ph.D., an expert on ribozymes; Gregory Schultz, Ph.D., an expert on wound healing in the eye; Sonal Tuli, MD, an expert on the cornea and herpes infections of the eye; and David Bloom, Ph.D., an expert on the molecular biology of herpes simplex virus latency and pathogenesis. The team started work on ribozyme-based therapy for herpes simplex virus targeting a disease in the eye called herpes stromal keratitis, or HSK. This disease responds poorly to the existing herpes treatments and is the leading cause of infectious blindness in the US. The approach uses a specially designed RNA molecule called a ribozyme that destroys an Herpesvirus RNA made from the UL20 gene that required for HSV to make new viruses. After years of work, the team was able to demonstrate that this ribozyme-based therapy had potential to treat not only HSV-1 infections in the eye, but on the skin as well (J. Virology 82:7467-7474, 3008). This started the push to perform the necessary preclinical tests to get approval from the FDA to conduct clinical trials.

In June 2010 the team was awarded $50,000 from the Pepsi Refresh campaign to conduct key studies needed to move this therapy forward. So far these funds have allowed the team to perform additional tests on the ribozymes and to refine the method of delivery. To date the results continue to look very encouraging and in a few months the researchers hope to have the data needed to obtain additional funding for the final phase of preclinical studies. The Pepsi Refresh Award came at a critical time and provided the much needed funds to keep work on this therapy moving forward.

These studies continue to suggest that the ribozyme therapy could provide an alternative therapy to suppress recurrence of not only HSV-1, but possibly HSV-2 as well.


MicroRNA Project with Bryan Cullen at Duke

Dr. Cullen and I are currently collaborating on determining the role of the HSV-1 encoded miRNAs on HSV pathogenesis and latency. My lab is currently constructing deletions/mutations of the miRNAs in order to study their function. In order to obtain funds for testing the miRNA mutants Bryan Cullen and I will be submitting a collaborative grant to the NIH on Feb 5.

These studies will allow us to determine the function of the HSV-1 encoded miRNAs and whether blocking them could interfere with HSV's ability to maintain a latent infection and provide a potential new therapy.



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Do these two researchers actually have novel medicine or are they just purely research at this time? I have never read about actual medicine, just research that could lead to future treatment.

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    • NewInNebr
      Newly diagnosed, looking for people to connect with in Nebraska, Lincoln even better 
    • Throwaway765
      Thanks for your response! I received unprotected oral 10 weeks ago and immediately after had stinging in my glans and weird nerve pain. I am positive for HSV1 due to cold sores I got as a child, but as recent as 9 weeks after this exposure have tested negative for HSV2.    im nervous that I may have acquired hsv1 again on my genitals since HSV2 is rarely acquired from oral sex and doesn’t shed hardly at all, but haven’t seen any sores yet. Just weird symptoms and this started recently in my buttcrack when I was taking antibiotics.   Any advice or perspective would be greatly appreciated. @WilsoInAus
    • WilsoInAus
      Hi @Throwaway765 and welcome. There is absolutely no concern over this being related to herpes. Something must be concerning you as to the possibility of herpes… what is it? 
    • Throwaway765
      @CHTany thoughts? Thanks!
    • Throwaway765
      @WilsoInAus saw you responded to others, would appreciate any thoughts.
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