AIM ImmunoTech Inc (NYSEAMERICAN:AIM) has reached a material transfer and research agreement with Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) and pharmaceutical company Shionogi & Co Ltd to test its drug Ampligen as a vaccine enhancer for the coronavirus.
AIM will provide samples of Ampligen to the two parties for collaborative research projects, the preclinical and clinical results of which will remain confidential until released by NIID and Shionogi. AIM will not be directly involved in the projects themselves.
The research will be led by Hideki Hasegawa, director of the NIID’s Influenza Virus Research Center and director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Collaborating Centre of Reference and Research on Influence, located in Tokyo.
"We are honored to work with Japan's esteemed NIID, as well as Shionogi, one of the world's premier pharmaceutical companies, in order to accelerate the development of potential COVID-19 vaccines,” CEO Tom Equels said in a statement. “I truly believe Dr Hasegawa and the team at Shionogi are among the foremost experts in the field and ideal partners for this exciting collaboration.”
Ampligen has already been tested on the SARS-CoV-1 virus and showed antiviral promise, Equels said.
“These new studies are specifically designed to explore Ampligen as a potential vaccine adjuvant,” Equels said. “Prior US National Institutes of Health-contracted animal experiments with Ampligen have demonstrated strong prophylactic antiviral activity against the earlier SARS-CoV-1 virus (100% protective survival vs. 100% mortality), which is quite similar to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. Prior NIID influenza studies also established Ampligen's strong potential as a viral vaccine adjuvant.”
A vaccine adjuvant is added to a vaccine to create a stronger immune response.
“We look forward to collaborating with NIID and Shionogi to determine whether Ampligen could be equally effective as a vaccine enhancer for the SARS-CoV-2 virus in combination with promising vaccine candidates,” Equels added.
AIM ImmunoTech is a Florida-based immuno-pharma company focused on the research and development of therapeutics to treat immune disorders, viral diseases and multiple types of cancers.
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