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Dr. Todd Rider

I am Dr.Rider, I invented DRACOs. DRACOs are promising broad spectrum antivirals that have treated all 18 proof-of-concept viruses in laboratory mice and human cell tests. I want to research and develop a DRACO against herpes viruses. Ask Me Anything

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Dr. Todd Rider

Hi,

As expressed in the title, I am Dr. Todd Rider and I invented promising broad spectrum antiviral candidates that I have called DRACOs. I look forward to meeting you all here and hope my presence is helpful.

I am here to answer any questions you may have for me --- Ask Me Anything you like. Please post your questions here and I will be online to respond during the following days and times.

  • Oct 29th, 6-8 pm ET
  • Nov 1st, 1-3 pm ET

I will also join the live chat during these times.

Thank you,

Todd

 

Proof I am Who I Say I Am: http://imgur.com/PhF99cj

Journal of PLOS ONE Scientific Results: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0022572

IndieGoGo Campaign: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dracos-may-be-effective-against-all-viruses/x/6148198#/

Press Release: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/10/prweb13018147.htm

Some Media Coverage:

t7baeM0J34snm844j0NhfcmgFs4nm6buNKw0qtBh  -eat6yBCyhE9GG3hhkdSpGWy-2FlBP2QKbSmUEdj   KZx6Z4QG8NqW8QFPj5ctHejYkBDtnTrUz981CGlt v37XzhmjBulQkdA66q2Qyv2iBtQL_3-E49iApuNy 

 

 

1JwS5ZQ8Z0HN-SSsUbdy7W_pyRg0OjJ83bZF4Ir6nb_G9q8TynBhK6w1ZLAX7TwwxbkAodizgCzy8ioT e9NUyI6U38en-k1A_CGeAkULVwtnmUZGzkdoChCs ytnZx4FUXgSr9XKpVMZxlysO4YRZW2tGudQ79lLq

My Bio:
Dr. Todd H. Rider studied both biomedicine and engineering at MIT, including coursework at Harvard Medical School, and has spent his career inventing novel biotechnology projects by combining molecular and cellular biology tools with a systems engineering approach. After receiving his Ph.D. from MIT, he worked at Aeiveos Corporation on in vitro experiments to test and potentially intervene in the molecular mechanisms of human aging.  In 1997 he joined MIT Lincoln Laboratory and the MIT Center for Cancer Research and invented the CANARY biosensor, which uses genetically engineered lymphocytes to identify pathogens within seconds with very high accuracy and sensitivity. He engineered and demonstrated the first CANARY cell lines, as reported in his widely publicized 2003 Science paper.  Dr. Rider invented the DRACO antiviral approach, designed the therapeutics and experiments, personally conducted many of the in vitro and in vivo experiments, and recruited and supervised a team in carrying out the rest. His DRACO research has been called “visionary” by the White House (National Bioeconomy Blueprint, April 2012, p. 9), named one of the best inventions of the year by Time magazine (November 28, 2011, pp. 58, 78), and featured on the BBC Horizons TV program (2013). He has also invented additional PANACEA anti-pathogen therapeutics, novel high-energy biofuel cells, and other projects.  Along the way, Dr. Rider founded and runs the Science on Saturday program and other K-12 science outreach programs at MIT.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Dr. Todd Rider
removed 1 Q&A session

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herpes-sucks

Hello Dr. Rider and welcome to the board !

I will not speak for anyone here, but I know that so many of us are desperately wanting/hoping for a cure... or at least a functional cure as Herpes has such a strong negative emotional effect and carries an enormous stigma with it.  We as a group, have been so disappointed over the years - watching long periods of no activity, coupled with some high profile trial failures.

Your research and approach does seem interesting.  Let me be direct... I believe that no one really cares what company can deliver a treatment first.  We are not brand loyal to anyone.  This is not Coke vs. Pepsi or McDonald's vs. Burger King.  We just want someone to deliver, and we'll line up and support whatever company is successful. 

My question would be the same one I have posted here about Bill Halford, which is.... if your vaccine works, why have you not been able to attract a large biotech or pharmaceutical company to invest or partner up with you ? 

Genocea has stated that they think their Gen-003 vaccine could generate $1 billion in sales, yet it currently only offers a 58% reduction in symptoms.  So anyone that has a better vaccine could make HUGE money.  Realizing that companies would weigh a risk vs. reward model on any investment, if you had a true treatment, wouldn't companies be lining up to get in early and reap the rewards ?  That you have been out there with research, published papers, PR, and an slow generating Indigogo campaign indicates to me that there is a disconnect somewhere.

I know there are a lot of conspiracy theories out there - that companies keep the cures buried to make more money off of current treatments, but in today's environment where $1 billion could be generated from so-so results, I can't imagine other companies not wanting to go for it.  The payoff is just too lucrative.  I just don't think anyone has developed anything significantly better to challenge the current treatments that seem acceptable.

Hopefully you, or some other company can change that.

Thank you in advance...

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VVK

Hi Todd,

Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions. Mine is pretty straight-forward and direct. I have only seen one animal trial study involving DRACOs on mice with influenza, which appeared successful. I noticed that your Indiegogo campaign simply aims to test DRACOs on cells infected with viruses (which will presumably be done in test tubes and petri dishes), rather than animal trials. Surely by now proof-of-concept with DRACOs has already been demonstrated.. changing the viral DNA/RNA shouldn't matter as long as the DRACOs are designed accordingly to lock on to them. Why are you choosing to go in this direction - i.e. showing DRACOs are effective against even more viruses (including various types of HSV) - rather than focusing on a single HSV virus and perhaps including a small animal trial study?

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blistering love

Hi Dr Rider,

If you don't reach the 100,000 goal, will the funds you do get go to the research or will it just be abandoned ? Also, considering Ella Dawson has such a high following and is one of many trying to ease the stigma of this illness, would you be able to contact her and see if she cant help raise funds be promoting your work? Thank you :) 

Edited by blistering love

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tom343

Thank you DR Rider for coming on and answering our questions. My question is do you have a formula which we can already inject? Obviously you have stated you would like to test it on larger animals but why can other vaccines be tested on just mice and then move onto human trials whereas you seem to want to add an additional step? Is there any particular reason for this? 

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Sanguine108

Dr. Rider,

First off, thank you for taking the time engaging us in a conversation.

My questions are as follows:

1. What are the variables you're working with in optimizing DRACOs.  As in, when you administer DRACOs in mice, what is in that solution? Or what is it about DRACOs that is modified?  

2. How do DRACOs make it into the cell and particularly the nervous system cells? To do what they need to do?  Are you attaching DRACOs to some lipophilic substituent so that it can traverse the cell walls like a sex steroid hormone would?

3. Is there a half-life for DRACOs in the body or has that been measured?

Once again, thank you for making a presence to answer questions and reaching out.

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Dr. Todd Rider

Hello Dr. Rider and welcome to the board !

I will not speak for anyone here, but I know that so many of us are desperately wanting/hoping for a cure... or at least a functional cure as Herpes has such a strong negative emotional effect and carries an enormous stigma with it.  We as a group, have been so disappointed over the years - watching long periods of no activity, coupled with some high profile trial failures.

Your research and approach does seem interesting.  Let me be direct... I believe that no one really cares what company can deliver a treatment first.  We are not brand loyal to anyone.  This is not Coke vs. Pepsi or McDonald's vs. Burger King.  We just want someone to deliver, and we'll line up and support whatever company is successful. 

My question would be the same one I have posted here about Bill Halford, which is.... if your vaccine works, why have you not been able to attract a large biotech or pharmaceutical company to invest or partner up with you ? 

Genocea has stated that they think their Gen-003 vaccine could generate $1 billion in sales, yet it currently only offers a 58% reduction in symptoms.  So anyone that has a better vaccine could make HUGE money.  Realizing that companies would weigh a risk vs. reward model on any investment, if you had a true treatment, wouldn't companies be lining up to get in early and reap the rewards ?  That you have been out there with research, published papers, PR, and an slow generating Indigogo campaign indicates to me that there is a disconnect somewhere.

I know there are a lot of conspiracy theories out there - that companies keep the cures buried to make more money off of current treatments, but in today's environment where $1 billion could be generated from so-so results, I can't imagine other companies not wanting to go for it.  The payoff is just too lucrative.  I just don't think anyone has developed anything significantly better to challenge the current treatments that seem acceptable.

Hopefully you, or some other company can change that.

Thank you in advance...

From everything I have seen and experienced, biotech and pharmaceutical companies have become extremely conservative and averse to more novel, longer-term, or less proven approaches. Most of the new treatments they are pursuing seem to be rather slight variations on existing methods, such as new nucleoside/nucleotide analogues, new protease inhibitors, new vaccines, etc. The industry representatives with whom I have had discussions are interested in DRACOs, but they all want to see data demonstrating that DRACOs are effective against major clinical viruses such as herpesviruses in cells before they will commit their own financial support to this work. Thus this IndieGoGo campaign is designed to raise enough funding to carry out these key experiments and leverage the results to attract further support.

 
I have not seen any evidence of an "X-Files Cigarette Smoking Man" conspiracy to suppress DRACOs or other new therapeutics. Instead, I have witnessed countless individual decisions not to support DRACO (or other very innovative technologies) until someone else supports them first, and no one wants to be first.

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Dr. Todd Rider

Hi Todd,

Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions. Mine is pretty straight-forward and direct. I have only seen one animal trial study involving DRACOs on mice with influenza, which appeared successful. I noticed that your Indiegogo campaign simply aims to test DRACOs on cells infected with viruses (which will presumably be done in test tubes and petri dishes), rather than animal trials. Surely by now proof-of-concept with DRACOs has already been demonstrated.. changing the viral DNA/RNA shouldn't matter as long as the DRACOs are designed accordingly to lock on to them. Why are you choosing to go in this direction - i.e. showing DRACOs are effective against even more viruses (including various types of HSV) - rather than focusing on a single HSV virus and perhaps including a small animal trial study?

We certainly hope that DRACOs can be effective against the herpesvirus family. However, we have not conducted any tests against any members of the herpesvirus family yet, we have a number of different DRACO designs and approaches, and we cannot know in advance which if any might be most effective. It is far cheaper, faster, and easier to test DRACOs against herpesviruses in cells than in animals, and we can use the data from initial cell experiments to select and optimize the best DRACOs for herpesviruses. That cell data should also persuade larger sponsors to provide the higher amounts of funding that would be necessary for animal trials.

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Dr. Todd Rider

Hi Dr Rider,

If you don't reach the 100,000 goal, will the funds you do get go to the research or will it just be abandoned ? Also, considering Ella Dawson has such a high following and is one of many trying to ease the stigma of this illness, would you be able to contact her and see if she cant help raise funds be promoting your work? Thank you :) 

Any amount of funding will help this research to continue, but biology research is inherently rather expensive, so the more money is raised, the more we can actually do. We have reached out to Ella Dawson.

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Dr. Todd Rider

Thank you DR Rider for coming on and answering our questions. My question is do you have a formula which we can already inject? Obviously you have stated you would like to test it on larger animals but why can other vaccines be tested on just mice and then move onto human trials whereas you seem to want to add an additional step? Is there any particular reason for this? 

This is a similar question to one already asked. Basically, we certainly hope that DRACOs can be effective against the herpesvirus family. However, we have not conducted any tests against any members of the herpesvirus family yet, we have a number of different DRACO designs and approaches, and we cannot know in advance which if any might be most effective. It is far cheaper, faster, and easier to test DRACOs against herpesviruses in cells than in animals, and we can use the data from initial cell experiments to select and optimize the best DRACOs for herpesviruses. That cell data should also persuade larger sponsors to provide the higher amounts of funding that would be necessary for animal trials.

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blistering love

Thank you for your rapid reply! If u can try to contact herpes opportunity- Adrial Dale he may be able to help raise funds as well:)

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Dr. Todd Rider

Dr. Rider,

First off, thank you for taking the time engaging us in a conversation.

My questions are as follows:

1. What are the variables you're working with in optimizing DRACOs.  As in, when you administer DRACOs in mice, what is in that solution? Or what is it about DRACOs that is modified?  

2. How do DRACOs make it into the cell and particularly the nervous system cells? To do what they need to do?  Are you attaching DRACOs to some lipophilic substituent so that it can traverse the cell walls like a sex steroid hormone would?

3. Is there a half-life for DRACOs in the body or has that been measured?

Once again, thank you for making a presence to answer questions and reaching out.

1. DRACOs have several different parts or domains that carry them inside cells, recognize viral double-stranded RNA, and trigger cell suicide in infected cells. We have several versions of each and plan to find the best DRACOs for herpesviruses. It is far cheaper, faster, and easier to test DRACOs against herpesviruses in cells than in animals, and we can use the data from initial cell experiments to select and optimize the best DRACOs for herpesviruses. That cell data should also persuade larger sponsors to provide the higher amounts of funding that would be necessary for animal trials.

2. Our existing transduction tags have been vey successful at getting DRACO into a wide variety of cell types, and also at getting DRACO into cells in mice. We have shown that with existing transduction tags, DRACO can penetrate into cells within as little as 10 minutes. We also hope to test several newer transduction tags and other methods in our new experiments.

3. In our initial experiments, DRACOs persisted at least 11 days in human cells, and at least 2 days in mice. We need to do more experiments to better measure and optimize DRACO half-life in vivo.

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herpes-sucks

Hi Dr Rider,

If you don't reach the 100,000 goal, will the funds you do get go to the research or will it just be abandoned ? Also, considering Ella Dawson has such a high following and is one of many trying to ease the stigma of this illness, would you be able to contact her and see if she cant help raise funds be promoting your work? Thank you :) 

Never understood what the fascination is with Ella Dawson. Sure she put herself out there and took some flack, but many see her as a self promoting feminist.

That being said, wouldn't it make more sense to try and target some of the top biotech companies out there.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_biotechnology_companies

This quick list of the top companies shows their stock market valuation at well over $2 Trillion.  I'm sure if they believed in DRACO, they could help more than Ella and her small following on her blog.

 

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scaredbuthopeful2015

Hello.  First of all, like so many of the other,  I would like to thank you Dr Rider for coming to our group to answer our questions and for all of your work to date at trying to find a cure.

I am relatively new to the site and newly diagnosed.  I do not mean to be naive, however, I would greatly appreciate a brief explanation of things in laymen terms as well as a possible website that I can find more basic information  about your research.  

Also, how much money do you require beffort you can get to the stage for human trials?  What is this estimated time frame? And lastly, what success rate are you currently having on cell trials to date?

Thank yout sincerely.

Edited by scaredbuthopeful2015

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StayingUpbeat

Dr. Rider,
  Full disclosure: I think DRACOs (at least in the presented form) are almost certainly going to have side effects that negate the benefits from treatment in all but the most severe infections (i.e. Ebola) and asking people with ME/CFS and herpes for money without also making it very clear that DRACO is a billion dollars and 20 years from the clinic is a bit disingenuous. 

With that being said, since several studies have shown that the HSV Latency Associated Transcript blocks neuronal cell apoptosis downstream of caspase activation (and in a very similar way to the pan-caspase inhibitor that crippled the DRACOs tested)

pone.0022572.g003

which DRACO combination would you expect to have an effect on the pool of latently infected neurons and why?  Specifically, which DRACO combinations would you test if you got this funding and why would they work? 

Finally, it's hard to get terribly excited (and donate to a concept, even if I thought it would work) when it seems like the proponent has no vehicle to take it to the next level.  To put a finer point on: it looks to this outsider, that for all intent and purpose, you simply want money to fall from the sky to sit in a lab and kill mice.  I'm sure that's not the case, I'm just saying how it looks.

Following this testing is there a business plan to evolve the DRACO IP into a biotech startup?  What valuation would you place on it?  For the sake of argument, how much would you expect for a 10% equity stake in the concept? 

With all due respect Dr. Rider, it frustrates me to no end when I hear idea men (including in my industry) complain about these so called "valleys of death." This victim mentality that it is somehow the industry's fault that they aren't doing what's necessary to get their idea off the ground.  The problem is, in my experience unequivocally, the creator being unwilling to do the hard work of developing their "idea" into a viable business venture.  Why is it Dr. Rider that you would waste $50K-100K kicking the dead horse of more proof of concept?  There have been literally hundreds of much less well publicized and much more radical biotech companies that have gotten off the ground with much less data (you can't tell me that DRACO has less merit than Chiron's concept did). Specifically, Vertex, Genentec, and our very on Genocea quickly come to mind. Have you approached people like Peter Hébert or Kevin Kinsella who "invest in counter-conventional, seed and early stage science and technology ventures" with a business concept?  Would you have an elevator pitch and a business plan if we set up a meeting like that?

Ian Frazer is already performing clinical trials with an HSV treatment on less testing than DRACO has.  He did that by starting a company called Coridon and pursuing venture funding.  Dr. Darren Higgins turned ATLAS (a concept no less out there than DRACO) into Genocea biosciences and raised $100 million in venture series financing in the first year.  In both cases it seems to me that they did what's necessary instead of what's comfortable.  Heck I took an idea last year in PowerPoint, sillier than DRACO, to $10 million in venture funding that's employing 16 people.  But what do I know. 

What I will ask is if DRACO going to be something people talk about on message boards and run bake sales for until the patents run out and the Chinese start selling it for farm animals or are you going to step up, get out of the lab, and be the next Josh Bogher?

Edited by StayingUpbeat

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dont quit!

Hello Dr. Rider, thank you for your hard work and for answering the many questions that are on the minds of sufferers. I have a question for you. In case you don't get funds needed or get Draco picked up by a Bio Tech company or Big Pharma, which is a realistic scenario. Would you go to a different or developing country to attempt to perform trials there? [i.e. Aurx vaccine going to Mexico City, where they completed a Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials; interestingly Aurx was 10 million short of completing a Phase 3 trial]. I just feel like if your passionate and confident to about this treatment, you would consider all options. It would do a lot of good for so many and 500 million to 1 billion dollars is a heck of a lot of money to ask for clinical trials for a product that may not even work. I know you have sacrificed a lot but are you willing to go the extra mile for the greater good of those affected? Yes? No? Maybe so? Everyone has a different threshold of what they can and cannot sacrifice. Thank you in advance and I wish you nothing but the best.

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Nicolai82

Dr. Rider,
  Full disclosure: I think DRACOs (at least in the presented form) are almost certainly going to have side effects that negate the benefits from treatment in all but the most severe infections (i.e. Ebola)

Hi StayingUpbeat,

why do you think so?

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JustHanginginThere

Dr. Rider,

A few questions:

1) Since MIT owns the IP, how are you able to just rent lab space at a different location and continue work?  I assume that if DRACOs worked in clinically relevant viruses and there was interest from Pharma--that MIT would have to license DRACO? In addition, I notice that members here discuss the fact that other scientists have formed their own small Biotechs (most likely using University incubators).  I wonder if you have thought about doing that?

2) Are you currently funded through Draper Lab? What happened to their interest in your work?

3) Significantly reducing viral load in a mouse model is all anyone has done so far with HSV-1 or 2.  However, the race is on to actually cure HSV-1 in a mouse model which includes all latent virus. The race is being led by 2 groups and the method is Gene Editing----1) Bloom, Cullen, and Editas partnership.  Cullen has said himself if he cures HSV-1 in a mouse model things are going to start moving along faster AND 2) Dr. Keith Jerome at Fred Hutch. I am wondering why these groups are getting funding (NIH or Pharma) but you are not.  Is DRACO way riskier than Gene editing using techniques such as CRISPR?  I have read a significant amount about CRISPR and that seems to be the way of the future to cure diseases that is attracting the VCs.

Thank you.

Edited by JustHanginginThere

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Dr. Todd Rider

Hello Dr. Rider, thank you for your hard work and for answering the many questions that are on the minds of sufferers. I have a question for you. In case you don't get funds needed or get Draco picked up by a Bio Tech company or Big Pharma, which is a realistic scenario. Would you go to a different or developing country to attempt to perform trials there? [i.e. Aurx vaccine going to Mexico City, where they completed a Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials; interestingly Aurx was 10 million short of completing a Phase 3 trial]. I just feel like if your passionate and confident to about this treatment, you would consider all options. It would do a lot of good for so many and 500 million to 1 billion dollars is a heck of a lot of money to ask for clinical trials for a product that may not even work. I know you have sacrificed a lot but are you willing to go the extra mile for the greater good of those affected? Yes? No? Maybe so? Everyone has a different threshold of what they can and cannot sacrifice. Thank you in advance and I wish you nothing but the best.

If we can successfully demonstrate and optimize DRACOs against clinically relevant viruses in cells, we believe those results should persuade pharmaceutical companies to carry DRACOs through large-scale animal trials and hopefully into human trials. The timeline depends on funding levels (including how much funding pharmaceutical companies are willing to commit later) and whether any unforeseen scientific difficulties arise in the experiments. However, if everything goes well, we hope that DRACO could enter human trials within a decade or even less. The questions about when, where, and how such human trials might be conducted can only be answered further down the road, and only if DRACOs can overcome their current financial and scientific challenges.

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Dr. Todd Rider

Hello.  First of all, like so many of the other,  I would like to thank you Dr Rider for coming to our group to answer our questions and for all of your work to date at trying to find a cure.

I am relatively new to the site and newly diagnosed.  I do not mean to be naive, however, I would greatly appreciate a brief explanation of things in laymen terms as well as a possible website that I can find more basic information  about your research.  

Also, how much money do you require beffort you can get to the stage for human trials?  What is this estimated time frame? And lastly, what success rate are you currently having on cell trials to date?

Thank yout sincerely.

Brief explanations and basic information about our research are available at:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dracos-may-be-effective-against-all-viruses#/

http://www.killingsickness.com

If we can use the funding from the IndieGoGo campaign to successfully demonstrate and optimize DRACOs against clinically relevant viruses in cells, we believe those results should persuade pharmaceutical companies to carry DRACOs through large-scale animal trials and hopefully into human trials. The timeline depends on funding levels (including how much funding pharmaceutical companies are willing to commit later) and whether any unforeseen scientific difficulties arise in the experiments. However, if everything goes well, we hope that DRACO could enter human trials within a decade or even less.

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Dr. Todd Rider

Dr. Rider,

A few questions:

1) Since MIT owns the IP, how are you able to just rent lab space at a different location and continue work?  I assume that if DRACOs worked in clinically relevant viruses and there was interest from Pharma--that MIT would have to license DRACO? In addition, I notice that members here discuss the fact that other scientists have formed their own small Biotechs (most likely using University incubators).  I wonder if you have thought about doing that?

2) Are you currently funded through Draper Lab? What happened to their interest in your work?

3) Significantly reducing viral load in a mouse model is all anyone has done so far with HSV-1 or 2.  However, the race is on to actually cure HSV-1 in a mouse model which includes all latent virus. The race is being led by 2 groups and the method is Gene Editing----1) Bloom, Cullen, and Editas partnership.  Cullen has said himself if he cures HSV-1 in a mouse model things are going to start moving along faster AND 2) Dr. Keith Jerome at Fred Hutch. I am wondering why these groups are getting funding (NIH or Pharma) but you are not.  Is DRACO way riskier than Gene editing using techniques such as CRISPR?  I have read a significant amount about CRISPR and that seems to be the way of the future to cure diseases that is attracting the VCs.

Thank you.

1. MIT is very supportive of my continuing DRACO research elsewhere. The IndieGoGo funding will help me to form a very small biotech company and rent lab space in a university incubator to conduct the research. If my continuing research generates enough data to interest pharmaceutical companies, MIT would be able to license the DRACO IP to those companies.

2. Currently I am not funded by Draper Lab. I think they and many other institutions appear to be moving away from longer term applied research.

3. CRISPR-based approaches appear to have a number of major scientific challenges of their own, such as achieving good delivery into cells in animals/humans, producing broad-spectrum efficacy with the same therapeutic, avoiding potentially undesirable side effects, etc. Thus far they have been most effective at the level of individual cells, so they also seem to have a long road ahead to get to human trials. We believe that good results demonstrating that DRACOs are effective against herpesviruses could interest many of those same sponsors.

 

 

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Herbfresh

1  What are the downsides of DRACO?

Online, it seems like some people say this appears to conceptually be a fail proof technique. Some say DRACO could kill friendly and perhaps vital viruses, and others say that is nonsense. 

What do your instincts say about this? 

2  Why do you think it has been so difficult to get funding compared to all the other less promising and almost sure to fail vaccines?

3  Has DRACO ever been tested on a live subject, or just on cells? Aren't you tempted to just test it on mice without approval, for the sake of your own curiosity? I hope you do this :)

Thank you for giving us your time, and I am happy you are trying your best to get this thing started. I hope you will find out soon if DRACO can work. 

Edited by Herbfresh

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JustHanginginThere

1. MIT is very supportive of my continuing DRACO research elsewhere. The IndieGoGo funding will help me to form a very small biotech company and rent lab space in a university incubator to conduct the research. If my continuing research generates enough data to interest pharmaceutical companies, MIT would be able to license the DRACO IP to those companies.

2. Currently I am not funded by Draper Lab. I think they and many other institutions appear to be moving away from longer term applied research.

3. CRISPR-based approaches appear to have a number of major scientific challenges of their own, such as achieving good delivery into cells in animals/humans, producing broad-spectrum efficacy with the same therapeutic, avoiding potentially undesirable side effects, etc. Thus far they have been most effective at the level of individual cells, so they also seem to have a long road ahead to get to human trials. We believe that good results demonstrating that DRACOs are effective against herpesviruses could interest many of those same sponsors.

 

 

Dr. Rider,

This is the first time many of us have heard that you are actually going to use Indiegogo to start your own small bio-tech.  I think that is a fantastic idea. Would you open up the company to equity ownership? If you are successful and a Pharma then decides to license DRACO from MIT what happens to your company?

In relation to your comments on CRISPR--there was just a huge breakthrough this week.

Oct 26 from Duke University:

"Previous studies have shown that the emerging gene-editing technology called CRISPR can have off-target effects.
A new study shows that CRISPR can be used with a high degree of specificity to deliver proteins controlling DNA packaging,
in effect exerting epigenetic controls that alter gene expression without changing the coding portions of DNA"

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151026171401.htm


As an article said today "We're on the cusp of a revolution that will change the world as much as computers did."  It says "People with sufficient expertise could probably set up a lab and make designer babies or transform animal species for less than $2,000, according to experts we spoke with."  I only wish that DRACO was this cheap to start toying with so you could get started immediately!  We need more studies on DRACO--especially to learn if it would have off-target effects.

http://www.techinsider.io/how-crispr-and-genetic-editing-will-change-the-world-2015-9

Edited by JustHanginginThere

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Nicolai82

Hello Dr. Rider, when will the first new press articles be published? They will change everything regarding funding!

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