They are currently looking for investors and medical companies to help get it going...
Novel Method for Preventing Recurrence of Herpes Simplex Virus
The University of Florida is seeking a company interested in commercializing a novel method for preventing the spread and recurrence of herpes simplex virus. Herpes afflicts approximately one in four women and one in five men. The blistering sores caused by the disease are painful and are the leading cause of corneal blindness in the United States and Europe. Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a gene therapy that employs hammerhead ribozymes to inhibit herpes viral replication. When administered by a single injection after the initial infection, the therapy provides life-long inhibition of recurring outbreaks.
* Injectable therapeutic vaccine controls herpes virus infection
* Potential for future use as preventative vaccine
* Single injection provides life-long protection against recurrent outbreaks
* Effective against corneal, conjunctival, and stromal cell infections, for which topical antiviral medications cannot be used
* Minimizes discomfort by preventing spread of the initial infection to other areas of the body
* Combats reactivating infections of the eye and brain, minimizing morbidity to immunocompromised individuals and infected infants
Existing antiviral treatments must be taken during recurring infections and only curtail the severity and timeframe of symptoms; by contrast, the therapy at hand prevents recurrence. The novel approach of this technology is its employment of hammerhead ribozymes, RNA enzymes that can cleave mRNA, deactivating it and leaving it to be digested by the intracellular degradation mechanism. These ribozymes target sequences in several genes of the herpes virus and block viral replication. Defective forms of the herpes simplex virus type I (HSV-1) function as vectors to deliver the ribozymes to cells capable of sustaining infection. The technology can potentially to be used as a preventative vaccine against all outbreaks.