Annual influenza vaccines are a hallmark of the flu season. However, the protective value of the current vaccine production method is limited at best. Each year’s vaccine cocktail is produced based upon predictions from the previous year’s strain prevalence, introducing a 9- to 12-month period during which new strains can proliferate and eliminating any possibility for rapid response to emergent strains. Furthermore, the current treatment methods require initiation within 48 hours of symptom onset, which is commonly before infected patients seek medical treatment.
Air Force researchers have developed a DNA-based therapeutic for treating diseases that have promoter sequences unique to the pathogen and not the host organism (i.e., a human).
Such diseases include, but are not limited to, viral, bacterial, parasitic, and fungal infections as well as many forms of benign and malignant tumors. Such rapidly designed potential therapies could be applied in compassionate use cases, as a last resort intervention for emergent epidemics, or as a mitigation strategy for seasonal outbreaks.
- Rapid response: Timely introduction of vaccines and treatments
- Prevent illnesses: In-vivo efficacy for inducing cell death prior to large scale viral reproduction
- US Patent pending and is available for license
- Potential for collaboration with Air Force’s world class group of researchers