Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ebola Fighter AVI Biopharma Gears Up for Biodefense Contracts

According to Luke Timmerman of, he recently heard from CEO Leslie Hudson about the latest on the Ebola treatment program.

Timmerman reports that this month, the U.S. Department of Defense plans to conclude a public solicitation for business opportunities to get a contract to make RNA-based drugs for Ebola and Marburg viruses, Hudson says. The contract specifically states that it must be an RNA therapeutic ready for clinical trials, not a different kind of treatment like a vaccine or a monoclonal antibody, Hudson says. RNA-based therapies, sometimes known as next-generation antisense or gene-silencing drugs, are thought to hold great potential to block the underlying mechanisms of disease in ways that previous therapies can’t.

What other viruses and "superbugs" should the US Department of Defense focus on? With the impending pandemic of the swine flu, should the efforts be placed on immediate defense on this danger?

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