Emerge Australia Research Interview: Professor Ken Walder

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Research Interview: Professor Ken Walder

2021 is an exciting time for ME/CFS science in Australia. Money is flowing. That means in time, research results will also flow. Australian labs are gearing up to do the work to deliver insights into the cause of ME/CFS and, most importantly, possible treatments.

Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) last year allocated $3.3 million for ME/CFS research. That money was split three ways, and a third of it went to a man named Ken Walder.

Professor Walder lives in the charming seaside town of Ocean Grove in Victoria with his family and two dogs, Daisy and Jack. To find him however, you’d be best looking in the lab. Walder is the Chair of Metabolic Diseases at Deakin University, and he is most often hard at work on the Waurn Ponds campus, a sprawling collection of buildings plonked down next to cow paddocks a 30-minute drive from his home.

It’s not the most obvious place to conduct cutting-edge research, but Walder likes it.
“Compared to some of the other places I’ve been what I like about Deakin is it is a very collaborative and collegiate place,” he says.

... More at link...

https://www.emerge.org.au/blog/professor-ken-walder
 

Learner1

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Was just about to post this, really interesting article. Especially the last bit about testing 1300 existing off label drugs!
Interesting. There is only one FDA approved drug for mitochondria, for a very specific mitochondrial problem. And about 70% of pharmaceutical drugs are toxic to mitochondria....

Wonder if anything gets lost in converting WBCs to stem cells. Wonder why they just don't test muscle cells. And if he differentiates between autoimmune and infectious patients (or both) or those with skeletal issues...
 

Hufsamor

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https://www.emerge.org.au/blog/prof...ywtk0KT8SoeQG21pVOMc1222BN_nyTzFx6WHe4o7Ue274

Our hypothesis … is there may be a systemic problem with the ability of the mitochondria to produce the energy the body needs to function and that leads to feelings of fatigue as well as some of the other symptoms people with ME/CFS get,” he says.
The process starts wide: looking at what is going wrong in ME/CFS cells, and ends up narrow: testing drugs to see which ones can best reverse those changes.
For ME/CFS patients the most exciting aspect of Walder’s work is that it culminates in drug testing. After Walder and his team learn how to stress and dysregulate ME/CFS cells, the grant will fund the use of 1300 well-known, off-patent drugs to see which is best at restoring the cells to looking like healthy control cells


After i posted, i found that this has been posted before, by murph but then I wasn’t able to delete my own post :whistle:
 
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Hipsman

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1300 well-known, off-patent drugs
Ah, I was wandering what's the catch! off-patent most likely means they aren't protected by a patent, so it only covers well known drugs that have already been available on the market for quite some time and have been trialed by thousands of ME/CFS patents already!

So no new and experimental drugs that are currently in development. Such a shame, oh well, I've been trialing these experimental drugs myself recently, so guess I got that covered for ya:_
 

nerd

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So no new and experimental drugs that are currently in development. Such a shame, oh well, I've been trialing these experimental drugs myself recently, so guess I got that covered for ya:_
I think this is positive. CFS/ME shouldn't be a luxury and with monoclonal antibody therapy, it will be a luxury. Just like it currently is the case with COVID-19 vaccines. Fortunately, poorer countries have access to Ivermectin since its patent is expired. New experimental drugs would only be promising if the causality was fully understood. If there was a reproducible animal model for CFS/ME, we would soon be there.

1300 drugs would most likely yield a result. But this only works if the core assumption holds that the mitochondria are causally responsible. As far as I'm concerned, the mitochondria dysfunction is induced by exogen-pathogenic proteins and/or cytokines.
 

Learner1

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It's unlikely 1 drug will cure a complex multi-organ system disease with multiple subsets of patients.

And, 75% of pharmaceuticals are mito toxic according to researchers who presented at a recent United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation conference.

Seems more likely that correcting the function of one or likely more than one pathways while repairing accumulated damage might bring results.
 

Hipsman

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CFS/ME shouldn't be a luxury and with monoclonal antibody therapy, it will be a luxury.
Currently there is no reliable treatment at all, so even a luxury treatment would be a godsend! If the miracle drug costs ridiculous sums because of patent or not avalible at all, then one can order custom synthesis or join custom synthesis group buy of the drug.
 

Hufsamor

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off-patent most likely means they aren't protected by a patent, so it only covers well known drugs
“If we find a drug that makes ME/CFS cells look like healthy control cells, we immediately know what its safety profile is, what the dosage regimen that works is, any drug-drug interactions that we might need to be careful of, and because it has already been approved and marketed you can go straight to a Phase 2 trial.”
 

nerd

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“If we find a drug that makes ME/CFS cells look like healthy control cells, we immediately know what its safety profile is, what the dosage regimen that works is, any drug-drug interactions that we might need to be careful of, and because it has already been approved and marketed you can go straight to a Phase 2 trial.”
And you could prescribe it off-label even before the phase 3 trial ends.
 

Hipsman

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“If we find a drug that makes ME/CFS cells look like healthy control cells, we immediately know what its safety profile is, what the dosage regimen that works is, any drug-drug interactions that we might need to be careful of, and because it has already been approved and marketed you can go straight to a Phase 2 trial.”
I'm just very skeptical that such off-patent drug exists, if it existed we would already know of it because thousands of ME/CFS patients already tried all available off-patent drugs. Of course there is a few off-patent drugs like ampligen that helped many PwME in trials, but ampligen is almost impossible to get, even through custom synthesis:(
 

Riley

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Walder works closely with a scientist named Michael Berk who runs a lot of clinical trials. That means the transition from the lab to the clinic will be faster, and patients could be part of a trial to take an experimental drug by the end of the decade.
Better late than never I suppose. :(
 

Hipsman

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Better late than never I suppose. :(
He only tests "well known off-patent drugs", most likely you will be able to get any of them from online pharmacy as soon as the first results are out, no need to wait for clinical trials...