Wall Street Journal - XMRV Inactivation in Blood Supply

Wayne

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I just ran across this article. Cerus stock is up over 5% today... This is the kind of stuff that catches the eye of the financial world, which I'm guessing has been pretty uninterested in CFS up until now.

I thought the article was fairly weak on the science of CFS/XMRV correlation, but the financial/business implications is what these articles often focus on. It all helps.

Whittemore Peterson Institute and Cerus Announce Inactivation of XMRV in Platelets and Red Blood Cells by the INTERCEPT Blood System

RENO, Nev. & CONCORD, Calif., Sep 07, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease (WPI) and Cerus Corporation presented data at today's NIH-sponsored 1st International Workshop on XMRV which demonstrates the efficacy of Cerus' INTERCEPT Blood System to inactivate XMRV and other MLV-related viruses in donated blood. Recent scientific studies have detected these human retroviruses in up to seven percent of healthy blood donor samples, indicating approximately 20 million people in the United States could unknowingly be carrying the infection. XMRV and MLV-related viruses have been linked to prostate cancer and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).

"The genetic variability of XMRV and MLV-related viruses will make development of screening assays for the blood supply challenging," said Dr. Judy Mikovits, director of research at WPI and lead author of the study. "The INTERCEPT technology demonstrates robust inactivation of these viruses and holds promise as a potential proactive approach to mitigating the risk of XMLV/MLV-related virus transmission via transfusion."

Co-author Dr. Lily Lin, vice president of global scientific affairs for Cerus, added, "The INTERCEPT system inactivates pathogens by crosslinking their DNA or RNA, which blocks their ability to replicate and prevents transmission of the infection. This mechanism of action is designed to provide prospective protection against emerging threats like XMRV and its genetic variants."

In a paper published online on August 23, 2010 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), scientists from the National Institutes of Health and U.S. Food and Drug Agency detected the presence of a genetically diverse group of MLV-related viruses in 86 percent of CFS patient samples and in 6.8 percent of samples from healthy blood donors, leading to new concerns about the possibility of transfusion transmission. The PNAS study results are consistent with data from a 2009 study published in Science, which detected XMRV in 67 percent of CFS patients and 3.7 percent of healthy controls.

In the study conducted by WPI and Cerus, red blood cell and platelet components were contaminated with a natural isolate of XMRV and MLV-related viruses from an ME/CFS patient. INTERCEPT-treated and control samples were evaluated in a validated virus culture test, which allows sensitive detection of viral particles that are capable of reproducing. No viable virus was detected following treatment, indicating the INTERCEPT Blood System is capable of inactivating high levels (>4 logs) of the virus.

The INTERCEPT systems for platelets and plasma are used by over 60 blood centers in Europe, Russia and the Middle East. The INTERCEPT red cell system is in clinical development. The INTERCEPT Blood System is not yet approved for use in the United States.

ABOUT THE WHITTEMORE PETERSON INSTITUTE

The Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro Immune Disease exists to bring discovery, knowledge, and effective treatments to patients with illnesses that are caused by acquired dysregulation of both the immune system and the nervous system, often resulting in lifelong disease and disability. The Whittemore Peterson Institute is the first institute in the world dedicated to neuro-immune diseases, integrating patient treatment, basic and clinical research and medical education.

ABOUT CERUS

Cerus Corporation is a biomedical products company focused on commercializing the INTERCEPT Blood System to enhance blood safety. The INTERCEPT system is designed to reduce the risk of transfusion-transmitted diseases by inactivating a broad range of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and parasites that may be present in donated blood. The nucleic acid targeting mechanism of action allows INTERCEPT treatment to inactivate both established transfusion threats, such as hepatitis, HIV, West Nile virus and bacteria, as well as emerging pathogens such as influenza, malaria and dengue. Cerus currently markets and sells the INTERCEPT Blood System for both platelets and plasma in Europe, Russia, the Middle East and selected countries in other regions around the world. The INTERCEPT red blood cell system is in clinical development. Visit http://www.cerus.com for more information.

INTERCEPT and INTERCEPT Blood System are trademarks of Cerus Corporation.

References

1. Lo SC, et al. (2010) Detection of MLV-related virus gene sequences in blood of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and healthy blood donors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online before print August 23, 2010. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/08/16/1006901107.full.pdf+html

2. Lombardi VC, et al. (2009) Detection of an infectious retrovirus, XMRV, in blood cells of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Science 326:585--589. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1179052

3. Mikovits J, et al. (2010) Inactivation of XMRV and MLV-related viruses in platelet and RBC components prepared with the INTERCEPT Blood System. Presented at the 1st International Workshop on XMRV, September 7-8, 2010 (Bethesda, MD). http://www.interceptbloodsystem.com/recent_publications.html

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=6419296&lang=en

SOURCE: Cerus Corporation
 

SOC

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Nice find, Wayne.

This is great news for the world, but less than great news for those of us already infected.
 

julius

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A bit off topic but I can't find the new Four Viruses(?,!) thread.

I notice Judy M. is anti-WPI because she says....

The genetic variability of XMRV and MLV-related viruses will make development of screening assays for the blood supply challenging," said Dr. Judy Mikovits, director of research at WPI and lead author of the study. "The INTERCEPT technology demonstrates robust inactivation of these viruses and holds promise as a potential proactive approach to mitigating the risk of XMLV/MLV-related virus transmission via transfusion."
Why does she have to be such a hater?
 

Sasha

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From XMRV Global Action Facebook page

A link to the poster at the 1st annual XMRV conference on the INtercept Blood System.

http://www.interceptbloodsystem.com/documents/XMRV_2010_Mikovits.pdf

P.S. should we start a thread with just stuff from the conference???
Did you get this poster from somewhere on the conference website, George?

Definitely think we should have a new thread when stuff starts coming out of today's workshop. They've been in there a couple of hours already! Any idea how soon we can expect to hear anything?
 

leela

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It's too bad the virus hangs out in the tissues and the DNA; otherwise we could hook ourselves up to intercept and be done with it!
 

George

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Does this mean what I think it means???

Experiments were carried out by contaminating blood components
with natural viral isolates from a CFS patient and then measuring
the level of inactivation using an infectivity assay. The virus stock
was prepared from a WPI cell line expressing both XMRV and MLVrelated
viruses
.
So they used an actual person and not Dr. Silvermans clone. They know that the blood had both XMRV and the PMLV-RV's according to this.

For each experiment, samples were withdrawn before
and after treatment and assayed for the level of viral infectivity.
To quantify the level of virus, samples were titered on DERSE cells in
six-well culture plates
According to this they can get a titer reading on the samples??? That's a couple of steps ahead of the best news we've heard. Or have I been in the dog house too long and missed all the good bones??
 

Sunshine

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Well found George.

Isn't this the first time we've heard about a human XMRV/MULV 'isolate'?

If so it's a big next step, and as you say the 'titre' ability is intriguing.
 

Lynn

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According to this they can get a titer reading on the samples??? That's a couple of steps ahead of the best news we've heard.
That's the first I have heard of anyone mentioning titer readings. This is exciting!

Lynn
 

August59

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A bit off topic but I can't find the new Four Viruses(?,!) thread.

I notice Judy M. is anti-WPI because she says....



Why does she have to be such a hater?
I'm not quite following you on this one. Am I missing something because Judy M. works at WPI?
 

julius

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I'm not quite following you on this one. Am I missing something because Judy M. works at WPI?
I'm just making a joke about a previous thread. Some were claiming that referring to the virus in the plural (viruses) meant that you hate the WPI and have a secret agenda.
 

leela

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"While the FDA has traditionally said the U.S. blood supply is safe and doesn't really need a sweeping new technology to protect it"

I find this statement from the above-mentioned Cerus article to be the height of arrogance. Because they screen only for specific pathogens, they think it must be clean? One would think they would leap at a technology like this, so that the blood supply could be as safe as possible. XMRV or not,
the hubris of an attitude like that just further erodes my already crumbly opinion of FDA policy.
 

Boule de feu

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"While the FDA has traditionally said the U.S. blood supply is safe and doesn't really need a sweeping new technology to protect it"

I find this statement from the above-mentioned Cerus article to be the height of arrogance. Because they screen only for specific pathogens, they think it must be clean? One would think they would leap at a technology like this, so that the blood supply could be as safe as possible. XMRV or not,
the hubris of an attitude like that just further erodes my already crumbly opinion of FDA policy.
I believe that the US blood companies are about to do the same BIG mistake that the Canadian officials did with the tainted blood scandal (hepatitis C)... they didn't want to change their stock knowing it was contaminated...

There are lessons to be learned:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/taintedblood/

"They alleged that the accused failed to properly screen blood donors, failed to test blood properly, and failed to warn the public that there were risks associated with blood products."
 

leela

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"they didn't want to change their stock knowing it was contaminated.."

Incroyable, Boule de Feu!
Is everyone insane? More evidence that the Intercept technology could save blood, time, money, and lives.
What is the resistance? Why are people so nuts? I have decided most people working for gov't agencies like this have all contracted
a disease that inactivates the logic section of their brains.
 

Boule de feu

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"they didn't want to change their stock knowing it was contaminated.."

Incroyable, Boule de Feu!
Is everyone insane? More evidence that the Intercept technology could save blood, time, money, and lives.
What is the resistance? Why are people so nuts? I have decided most people working for gov't agencies like this have all contracted
a disease that inactivates the logic section of their brains.
The reason for the Canadian scandal was to save money... they thought they could start new once they had given the old blood...
I would not be surprised if the same reason ($$$) would apply in the US.
 

*GG*

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"they didn't want to change their stock knowing it was contaminated.."

Incroyable, Boule de Feu!
Is everyone insane? More evidence that the Intercept technology could save blood, time, money, and lives.
What is the resistance? Why are people so nuts? I have decided most people working for gov't agencies like this have all contracted
a disease that inactivates the logic section of their brains.
Status quo and probably something to do with Lobbying!

Don't drink the water in the Capital also!