AIM ImmunoTech Inc (NYSE American: AIM), the biopharma group, has revealed that Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases will kick off testing its flagship drug Ampligen as a potential treatment for the deadly new coronavirus (COVID-19), which originated in Wuhan, China.
This experimental program to treat the virus, which is caused by SARS-CoV-2 and is related to the original SARS virus, will be conducted at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) as well as the University of Tokyo. All testing and research will be conducted by Dr. Hideki Hasegawa, the director of Japan’s National Institute’s Influenza Virus research center and Dr. Takeshi Ichinohe, a PHD in the department of Pathology at the NIID, Department of Biological Science and Technology at Tokyo University of Science.
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Ampligen has previously been used with success in mice to treat Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which is a sort of sister virus to the Wuhan coronavirus and also originated in China, but in the Guangdong province.
After a 2002 SARS outbreak in Guangdong reported more than 8,000 illnesses and more than 800 deaths, the US National Institutes of Health contracted studies with Ampligen to evaluate its effectiveness as a treatment for SARS. In those studies, Ampligen saw a 100% survival rate – “at clinically achievable human dosage levels” in experiments with mice.
“Ampligen had excellent antiviral activity against the earlier SARS coronavirus in US National Institutes of Health-contracted animal experiments,” noted Thomas Equels, AIM CEO in a statement. “In those studies of SARS-infected mice, Ampligen stands out as the only drug tested that conferred a significant survival effect: 100% of the Ampligen- treated mice survived, while none of the untreated mice survived.”
Ampligen is a Toll-Like Receptor 3 agonist based on synthetic double-stranded RNA which is also being used in clinical trials to evaluate its effectiveness in taking aim at renal cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma, colorectal cancer, advanced recurrent ovarian cancer and triple-negative metastatic breast cancer.