WNV Vaccine Work
Began In 1990...Same Year
Oravax Company Appeared
By Patricia Doyle <>
Hello Jeff,
More info on Oravax company can be found regarding the NIH grant and also past press releases on
The US Government and Oravax company would have us believe that the 3 million dollar grant that Oravax received from the US NIH (National Institute of Health) was to develop West Nile vaccine after the fact of the 1999 outbreak in New York.
The way that the Oravax press release was worded regarding the grant, would give us the idea that developing west nile vaccine is post 1999 outbreak. Let us examine the real truth of when the vaccine for West Nile was actually discussed.
I have attached a document from the gulflink military declassified files that proved the US government had called for an immediate development of West Nile vaccine back in December 1990. Also in 1990, we have the "birth" of a new pharmaceutical company, Oravax Company of Cambridge, Mass. Its lead scientist and VP is Thomas Monath. Col. Dr.Thomas Monath is a veteran of Ft. Detrick's USAMRIID biowar research program and his expertise is arbroviruses, specifically flaviruses. Col. Dr. Thomas Monath, together with coresearcher from Ft. Dertrick, Dr. Jerry Hauer (formerly of the New York City Dept. of Emergency Management) have both been vocal about biowar preparedness and both were part of a special committee that advised President Clinton on biowar preparedness and suggested stockpiling vaccines. Dr. Monath worked very closely with Dr. Hauer from the "beginning" of the 1999 West Nile outbreak in New York.
In 1996, Oravax was granted an exclusive license for the US Ft. Detrick's patented genetically engineered Japanese Encephalitis Virus. Oravax had intended at that time, 1996, to use a "chimerivax process" using Yellow Fever vaccine to develop a vaccine for Japanese Encephalitis, Dengue Fever, and the other flaviviruses like West Nile, Kunjin and St. Louis Encephalitis. In 1998, Oravax was delt a setback and almost financially ruined when a children's vaccine for rotovirus did not work. Their stock plummited from $75.00 down to 25 cents a share. The company was almost delisted from Nasdaq.
Peptide Theraputic, became the parent company of Oravax in an acquisition that year (1998). Oravax needed a vaccine that would work and a large market to sell it to. Its hope was on the chimerivax JE that would work on other flavivirus encephalitis as well.
We are now up to 1999. New York was faced with a challenge. West Nile, a brand new strain, never before seen in the US, began killing birds, infecting mosquitos and eventually killed 7 people and sickened 62. The initial epidemic appeared to be centered in two locations, the Bronx Zoo, and a section of Queens. Midway between these two locations on Shore Road in the Bronx is a aviary sanctuary and wildlife preserve.
Of course the thought of "someone" releasing birds infected with West NileLIKE is, still, at this point conjecture and theory. Could infected birds have been released from the bird aviary in the bronx, and Plum Island's wildlife preserve on Long Island? There is still much more research and work to do to prove those statements. As I uncover documents, I shall present them here.
Attached to this article are source articles and website URLs. At this point in time, you must be the judge.
Here is a reference from the USGS that tags the New York west nile as a new more virulent strain.
Thank you, Patricia Doyle
please visit my website and message board.
Hello Jeff
Here are the background articles and some URLs to go with my article.
[from Federal Register: March 22, 1996 (Volume 61, Number 57, Page 11812]
Notice of Intent To Grant an Exclusive License of a U.S. Government-Owned Patent
agency: U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, DOD.
action: Notice.
summary: In accordance with 37 CFR 404.7 (a)(I)(i), announcement is made of the intent to grant an exclusive, royalty-bearing, revocable license of U.S. Patent Application Serial Number 08/348,882, filed November 28, 1994 and entitled "Infectious cDNA Clones of Japanese Encephalitis Virus and Attenuated Strains Japanese Encephalitis Virus Made from the Clones'', to OraVax, Inc., 230 Albany Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139. Rights to this invention are owned by the United States Government as represented by the Secretary of the Army. Anyone wishing to object to the grant of this license has 60 days from the date of this notice to file written objections along with supporting evidence, if any. Written objections are to be filed with the Command Judge Advocate, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland 21702-5012.
addresses: Commander, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, ATTN: Command Judge Advocate, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland 21702-5012.
for further information contact: Mr. John F. Moran, Patent Attorney, (301) 619-2065 or telefax (301) 619-7714. Gregory D. Showalter, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 96-6928 filed 3-21-96; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710-01-M
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * PEPTIDE THERAPEUTICS:
"We are exploring the ChimeriVax technology to develop a vaccine against West Nile Encephalitis, the viral disease that caused epidemic encephalitis and deaths in New York City in 1999."
"Peptide is developing a vaccine, in collaboration with Aventis Pasteur, for the prevention of Japanese encephalitis viral infections using its ChimeriVaxô technology. JE is a potentially fatal neurotropic viral infection common in Asia, including Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, India and Thailand. The World Health Organisation has identified the development of safer and less expensive vaccines against JE as a high priority, which should ensure its use in endemic regions. In addition, a safer vaccine that requires only a single dose for immunisation would better meet the needs of travellers and the military. Safety and preclinical efficacy of the JE vaccine has been demonstrated in pre-clinical studies."
[DELETED TEXT NO LONGER ON THIS WEBPAGE: "A Phase I trial is scheduled to commence by the end of 1999. PMC has been granted a worldwide licence to the ChimeriVax(tm) technology for the development of vaccines against JE (and tick borne encephalitis), in return for PMC funding all future research and development costs and agreeing to pay OraVax milestone payments and royalties on sales of licensed product."]
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * THOMAS MONATH BIO:
Thomas P. C. Monath is one of the world's leading arbovirologists. He is currently Vice- President of Research and Medical Affairs at OraVax, Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In this position he is responsible for the scientific direction of programs on vaccine development against Helicobacter pylori, Clostridium difficle, eneterotoxogenic E. coli, Shigella and IgA monoclonal antibodies. Prior to this he was the Chief of the Virology Division, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick in Maryland. In this position he was responsible for the development of genetically engineered vaccines against arthropod- borne and hemorrhagic fever viruses. Between 1974 and 1988 he was the Medical Director of the Division of Vector- Borne Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Dr, Monath is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and trained in internal medicine at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. He has authored over 150 medical articles in peer- reviewed medical journals. He serves on the editorial boards of several eminent medical organizations.
Date: Tue, 1 Aug 2000 11:23:50 EDT Subject: Peptide Awarded Grant by NIH to Develop West Nile Vaccine To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Peptide Awarded Grant by NIH to Develop West Nile Vaccine
CAMBRIDGE, England, Aug. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Peptide Therapeutics Group plc (LSE: PTE.L) ("Peptide") announces that it has been awarded a Fast-Track Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant by the US National Institutes of Health ("NIH") to develop an important new vaccine to prevent West Nile virus disease ("West Nile").
West Nile is a mosquito-borne viral disease that can be fatal. The disease first occurred in the US in the summer of 1999, when an outbreak occurred in New York in which 62 people were hospitalised with encephalitis and seven people died. Based on antibody surveys, approximately 2.5% of New York metropolitan residents were infected, making it likely that many had developed milder illnesses. Countless wild birds and a number of horses also succumbed to the disease. Other US states affected were New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland. Several preventative measures were taken last year, including the spraying of New York City with pesticide in an attempt to kill the infected mosquitoes.
Fears are growing that another outbreak could occur this year. Infected birds and mosquitoes have been detected over a wide area from New Jersey to Massachusetts. Public health warnings have been issued to residents of the affected States, and intensive mosquito control is underway in many areas. There is no vaccine, cure or specific therapy against West Nile virus disease. The US government is actively pursuing a campaign to combat the disease, including funding the development of vaccines for preventative use.
The grant has been awarded through Peptide's US subsidiary, OraVax Inc. Funding under the NIH SBIR grant is provided in two consecutive Phases, and the Fast-track mechanism ensures no delay between Phases. The Phase 1 award, covering the first 8 months of work is for $263K. Following successful completion of Phase 1, Phase 2 of the grant will be funded at a level of $2.7M for up to two years. The Fast-Track grant is expected to cover the costs of research and development, including initial human clinical trials.
The West Nile vaccine will be developed using Peptide's proprietary ChimeriVax(TM) technology. It will be a live, attenuated vaccine and involves the construction of a chimeric virus in which the envelope genes of yellow fever vaccine are replaced with the corresponding genes of the target West Nile virus. This approach has already been employed by Peptide to develop vaccines against dengue fever (in pre-clinical development) and Japanese encephalitis (due to commence Phase I trials shortly).
Dr. Thomas Monath, Vice President Research & Medical Affairs of Peptide, said: "The advantages of ChimeriVax(TM) vaccines include their high safety profile, ability to induce protection within a few days after a single dose, and long-lasting immunity without the need for booster doses. A ChimeriVax(TM) West Nile vaccine is therefore ideally suited for use in an impending epidemic, where rapid immunization is required."
Dr. John Brown, Chief Executive of Peptide, said: "We are delighted to have been selected by the US government to receive funding to continue to develop our West Nile vaccine. The West Nile virus is one of the most frightening to have emerged in recent years and there is no vaccine available to protect against the disease. We are confident that ChimeriVax(TM) can provide the technology to develop a vaccine that will provide a rapid and effective solution."
Peptide is a biopharmaceutical company developing vaccines to prevent and treat infectious diseases. It is based in Cambridge, UK and, through its subsidiary OraVax Inc., has operations in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It has a broad portfolio of vaccine product candidates undergoing clinical trials and several technology platforms that provide the basis for further vaccine product candidates. For further information visit our web site at .
The ChimeriVax(TM) technology platform is a method for development of new vaccines against viruses in the family Flaviviridae. The technology utilizes a molecular clone of yellow fever 17D, one of the safest and most effective vaccines ever developed, as the foundation for construction of new live, attenuated vaccines against related Flaviviruses. To generate a new vaccine, the genes for the viral envelope of yellow fever 17D virus are replaced with the corresponding genes of the target virus, for example West Nile, creating a yellow fever-West Nile hybrid or 'chimera'. The new virus contains West Nile envelope proteins required for stimulating immunity but retains the replicative machinery of yellow fever 17D vaccine virus.
The ChimeriVax(TM) technology is being developed in several product programmes including vaccines against dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, tick-borne encephalitis and hepatitis C. Peptide's most advanced programme using this technology is to develop a vaccine against Japanese encephalitis, the leading cause of viral infection of the central nervous system in Asia. Phase I trials are scheduled to commence shortly.
West Nile
West Nile encephalitis is a mosquito-borne disease that can cause inflammation of the spinal cord and brain and can be fatal. The virus that causes West Nile encephalitis occurs in Europe, Africa and Asia and was first identified in the United States in the summer of 1999. The virus grows in birds and is transmitted by mosquitoes from birds to humans and other mammals such as horses and cows.
There is no vaccine, cure or specific therapy for West Nile encephalitis. Whilst some of the symptoms of the disease can be treated, approximately 7% of people who are hospitalised from the infection die from it.
SOURCE Peptide Therapeutics Group plc CO: Peptide Therapeutics Group plc; US National Institutes of Health ST: England IN: MTC SU: 08/01/2000 11:22 EDT
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