Corgenix Medical Corp announces a major extension of the collaborative effort to combat important viral diseases.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a grant totaling $600,000 to Corgenix for a two-year study, which will focus on development of novel, recombinant-based diagnostic tests for two dangerous viruses. Collaborating with Corgenix on the study will be Tulane University, The Scripps Research Institute and Autoimmune Technologies, LLC.
"We expect this study will result in specific, cost-effective and easy to use tests for Ebola and Marburg virus detection," said Jon Geske, Ph.D., Corgenix Project Director and Principal Investigator of the program. "In addition, the resulting diagnostics will be critical for development of vaccines and other treatments for these currently incurable diseases."
This is the fourth major grant or contract given to Corgenix and its collaborative partners for virus research. Under the previous three grants or contracts awarded in the past five years, the group has developed and patented new recombinant proteins for Lassa virus and developed several viral detection products. These products have been deployed for clinical testing in Africa, where most viral hemorrhagic fevers are endemic.
"We are extremely pleased to have received this NIH grant, expanding our collaborative research to include the filoviruses," said Douglass Simpson, Corgenix President and CEO. "Building on our very successful Lassa virus program, this will enable the development of state-of-the-art diagnostic tests for Ebola and Marburg viruses on multiple delivery platforms."
The Ebola and Marburg viruses are characterized as biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) agents. These include dangerous and exotic microorganisms that pose a high individual risk of aerosol-transmitted laboratory infections and agents that cause severe to fatal disease in humans for which vaccines or other treatments are not available. Both are indigenous to Africa, causing viral hemorrhagic fevers characterized by bleeding and coagulation abnormalities, often leading to death. Although disease outbreaks of the filoviruses are rare, rapid state-of-the-art detection systems for these viruses are vital due to their potency. Ebola virus has been reported to have a mortality rate of 20 to 90%.
Robert Garry, PhD, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the Tulane University School of Medicine, added, "We have been very pleased with the results of our collaborative effort over the past five years. The diagnostic products for Lassa have shown to be remarkably effective in clinical settings in Africa and will have a meaningful impact on the healthcare in that part of the world, and will also fill a critical gap in bioterrorism defense. Now, under the new NIH grant, we will expand this program to address these additional infectious agents that have the potential to kill hundreds of thousands of people and are of concern to the public health and bioterrorism preparedness communities."
Source: Corgenix Medical Corp