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New Philadelphia, PA, United States

The invention relates to our discovery of a novel double-stranded ribonucleic acid (dsRNA) having specific biological activities, which includes acting as a selective agonist for activation of the Toll-like receptor 3. Its rugged molecular structure as measured by physico-chemical techniques is resistant to molecular unfolding (i.e., denaturation). This structure appears to be responsible for increased efficacy of dsRNA in therapeutic applications and improved biological activity (e.g., used as an immunoregulatory agent). Medicaments, processes for their manufacture, and methods for their use are provided herein.


A novel form of Rugged dsRNA with a unique composition and physical characteristics was identified with high specificity of binding to TLR3, which conveys an important range of therapeutic opportunities. Unlike the previous known antiviral Ampligen (poly I, poly C12,U) the new and improved form (poly I, poly C


Strayer D.R.,Hemispherx BioPharma Inc. | Carter W.A.,Hemispherx BioPharma Inc. | Stouch B.C.,BCS Consulting | Stevens S.R.,Pacific University in Oregon | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Background: Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) is a severely debilitating disease of unknown pathogenesis consisting of a variety of symptoms including severe fatigue. The objective of the study was to examine the efficacy and safety of a TLR-3 agonist, rintatolimod (Poly I: C 12U), in patients with debilitating CFS/ME. Methods and Findings: A Phase III prospective, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial comparing twice weekly IV rintatolimod versus placebo was conducted in 234 subjects with long-standing, debilitating CFS/ME at 12 sites. The primary endpoint was the intra-patient change from baseline at Week 40 in exercise tolerance (ET). Secondary endpoints included concomitant drug usage, the Karnofsky Performance Score (KPS), Activities of Daily Living (ADL), and Vitality Score (SF 36). Subjects receiving rintatolimod for 40 weeks improved intra-patient placebo-adjusted ET 21.3% (p = 0.047) from baseline in an intention-to-treat analysis. Correction for subjects with reduced dosing compliance increased placebo-adjusted ET improvement to 28% (p = 0.022). The improvement observed represents approximately twice the minimum considered medically significant by regulatory agencies. The rintatolimod cohort vs. placebo also reduced dependence on drugs commonly used by patients in an attempt to alleviate the symptoms of CFS/ME (p = 0.048). Placebo subjects crossed-over to receive rintatolimod demonstrated an intra-patient improvement in ET performance at 24 weeks of 39% (p = 0.04). Rintatolimod at 400 mg twice weekly was generally well-tolerated. Conclusions/Significance: Rintatolimod produced objective improvement in ET and a reduction in CFS/ME related concomitant medication usage as well as other secondary outcomes. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00215800. © 2012 Strayer et al. Source


Mitchell W.M.,Vanderbilt University | Nicodemus C.F.,AIT Strategies | Carter W.A.,Hemispherx BioPharma Inc. | Horvath J.C.,Hemispherx BioPharma Inc. | Strayer D.R.,Hemispherx BioPharma Inc.
American Journal of Pathology | Year: 2014

Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are highly conserved type 1 membrane proteins that initiate a multiplicity of transient gene transcriptions, resulting in innate and adaptive immune responses. These essential immune responses are triggered by common TLR pattern recognition receptors of microbial products expressed through the cytoplasmic carboxy-terminal Toll/IL-1 domain. Toll/IL-1 adapter protein cascades are induced by an activated Toll/IL-1 to induce transient transcription responses. All TLRs, with the exception of TLR3, use an MyD88 adapter to Toll/IL-1 to initiate a proinflammatory cascade. TLR3 uses the toll receptor 3/4 induction factor adapter to initiate a different cytosolic adapter cascade with double-stranded RNA agonists. This non-MyD88 pathway induces both NF-κB and type 1 interferon responses. By using a TLR3-restricted double-stranded RNA agonist, rintatolimod, we demonstrate significant unexpected differences in toxic responses between rats and primates. The mechanism of this differential response is consistent with a relative down-regulation of the NF-κB inflammatory cytokine induction pathway in the cynomolgus monkey and humans, but not observed systemically in rat. Our findings suggest evaluation of TLR3 agonists in drug therapy. Source


Liu Q.,Kansas State University | Ma J.,Kansas State University | Strayer D.R.,Hemispherx BioPharma Inc. | Mitchell W.M.,Vanderbilt University | And 3 more authors.
Expert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy | Year: 2014

The novel avian H7N9 influenza virus has caused more than 130 human infections with 43 deaths (as of September, 2013) in China. Because of the lack of existing immunity against H7 subtype influenza viruses in the human population and the absence of a licensed commercial vaccine, antiviral drugs are critical tools for the treatment of infection with this novel H7N9. Both M2-ion channel blockers and neuraminidase inhibitors are used as antiviral drugs for influenza infections of humans. The emerging H7N9 viruses are resistant to the M2-ion channel blockers because of a S31N mutation in the M2 protein; additionally, some H7N9 isolates have gained neuraminidase R292K substitution resulting in broad resistance to neuraminidase inhibitors. In this study we report that Alferon N can inhibit wild type and 292K H7N9 viruses replication in vitro. Since Alferon N is approved for clinical use, this would allow a rapid regulatory approval process for this drug under pandemic threat. © 2014 Informa UK Ltd. Source

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