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Thread: A flu free world? Maybe

  1. #1
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    A flu free world? Maybe

    I just finished a documentary on Netflix called,”Pandemic”. By far the most interesting thread was about a little company called Distributed Bio. They are working on a single vaccine that would protect against all flu strains. They took a look at all available flu strains and found a similarity that they can attack. They hope to have a single shot by 2025.

    The frustrating part was that they claim to have a course of 7 shots that would work today. But they want to get it down to a single shot. I was shouting at the tv for them to bring it on. I would gladly endure a course of 7 shots to never have the flu again. I put up with two Shingrex shots..

    The company is largely self funded and has gotten some support from the Gates Foundation. Their intent is to distribute the vaccine to the third world at or below cost. They absolutely don’t want to hook up with big Pharma.

  2. #2
    According to the CEO they are working on a therapeutic treatment that will last about 8 weeks. They are still a long way from a vaccine. They are partnering with several Pharma companies Capture.JPG

    They are also not self funded.Capture1.JPG
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USNR(Ret)

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  3. #3
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    Watched it and enjoyed it. Nice of the Gates Foundation and others to lob large chunks of money around. Restores some of my faith.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  4. #4
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    They mentioned self funding in the documentary. The ceo lamented that if you let a large corporation in, you lose your vision.

    yes, they are working on a short term bandaid thing. it would be custom engineered for covid19.

    I’m interested in the Centivax project which is a broad spectrum vaccine. That’s the “one and done” stuff.

  5. #5
    Mother nature has a plan to kill all of us off. With advances in science and medicine, she has to come up with new ways to make it happen. Maybe this is one of them?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Wrenn View Post
    Mother nature has a plan to kill all of us off. With advances in science and medicine, she has to come up with new ways to make it happen. Maybe this is one of them?
    Be careful when in close proximity to big machines. You've gotta know where to stand when they go off.

  7. #7
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    Finding a common epitope that is shared across strains is an old and well-tested idea across many pathogens. Sadly you can't fool mother nature that easily. From decades of work on drug resistance in viruses and parasites I can tell you with assurance that if you apply a strong enough selective pressure you will succeed in selecting a resistant bug. There may be a fitness cost that will slow the resistant virus down for a while, but that, too, is a strong selective pressure for compensatory mutations that will re-strengthen the virus. There's a balance between fitness and mutation rates. Single strand RNA viruses (flu, corona, HIV) tend to have a high mutation rate, because there is no second strand of genetic information to use to correct errors. I once calculated that a viremic HIV patient could be carrying not only every possible single base mutation, but also every possible pair of mutations. This is part of why, despite heroic efforts, there is no vaccine for HIV.

    Successful vaccines are either made against DNA-based viruses or bacteria, which mutate orders of magnitude more slowly, or are highly polyvalent-- made against a killed or attenuated virus, so there are many points of attack and it's unlikely that many mutations would all occur at the same time in a single virus to inactivate the response. Or, they are made to order, like the flu vaccine, to attack the current predominant strain, knowing that it will be different in a year or two.

    The small RNA viruses only have a couple of surface proteins and present very few epitopes (targets for a vaccine), so polyvalency hasn't been much help for flu. Flu is particularly well adapted to accommodating changes in its coat protein regularly in order to evade the immune system of animals who had the flu before and developed an immune response to a particular version of the virus. Successful pathogens tend to use a strategy where they display a highly immunogenic protein without strict structural requirements to essentially dupe the immune system.

    So I wish these guys luck, but I'm not about to invest my retirement savings in their concept.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    ... Sadly you can't fool mother nature that easily. ....
    Mother nature is a serial killer, no one's better, more creative... - Andrew Fassbach (World War Z)

    All life seems to have a desire to live, whether we use an immune system, a 10MT warhead, or just a simple RNA sequence. Probably a obscure movie reference as well, but I remember a line from somewhere that went something like "one day the earth will view mankind as a virus".
    Molann an obair an saor.

    If Heaven ain't alot like Texas, I don't wanna go. - Hank Jr.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    Finding a common epitope that is shared across strains is an old and well-tested idea across many pathogens. Sadly you can't fool mother nature that easily. From decades of work on drug resistance in viruses and parasites I can tell you with assurance that if you apply a strong enough selective pressure you will succeed in selecting a resistant bug. There may be a fitness cost that will slow the resistant virus down for a while, but that, too, is a strong selective pressure for compensatory mutations that will re-strengthen the virus. There's a balance between fitness and mutation rates. Single strand RNA viruses (flu, corona, HIV) tend to have a high mutation rate, because there is no second strand of genetic information to use to correct errors. I once calculated that a viremic HIV patient could be carrying not only every possible single base mutation, but also every possible pair of mutations. This is part of why, despite heroic efforts, there is no vaccine for HIV.

    Successful vaccines are either made against DNA-based viruses or bacteria, which mutate orders of magnitude more slowly, or are highly polyvalent-- made against a killed or attenuated virus, so there are many points of attack and it's unlikely that many mutations would all occur at the same time in a single virus to inactivate the response. Or, they are made to order, like the flu vaccine, to attack the current predominant strain, knowing that it will be different in a year or two.

    The small RNA viruses only have a couple of surface proteins and present very few epitopes (targets for a vaccine), so polyvalency hasn't been much help for flu. Flu is particularly well adapted to accommodating changes in its coat protein regularly in order to evade the immune system of animals who had the flu before and developed an immune response to a particular version of the virus. Successful pathogens tend to use a strategy where they display a highly immunogenic protein without strict structural requirements to essentially dupe the immune system.

    So I wish these guys luck, but I'm not about to invest my retirement savings in their concept.
    Not to mention all those idiots who refuse to vaccinate their kids because they heard on Facebook that doing so can cause Autism. (It can’t).

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Daily View Post
    Not to mention all those idiots who refuse to vaccinate their kids because they heard on Facebook that doing so can cause Autism. (It can’t).
    Unfortunately public health and individual liberty don't always play nicely together.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin Santos View Post
    Unfortunately public health and individual liberty don't always play nicely together.
    That's a great observation, Edwin. It will be interesting to see how that argument plays out in the future.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Calow View Post
    That's a great observation, Edwin. It will be interesting to see how that argument plays out in the future.
    We’ve already seen it with the resurgence of measles which had virtually been eradicated.

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