Point Roberts, WA - April 1, 2011 – Investorideas.com, a leader in sector research including biotech and biodefense stocks, presents the second in a series of biodefense interviews with Jim Joyce, CEO of Aethlon Medical (OTCBB: AEMD).
InvestorIdeas: In our interview last week, we discussed the unprecedented opportunity for organizations with treatment candidates against bioterror or pandemic threats to attract non-dilutive funding support from a variety of government agencies. Are these programs really a good use for taxpayer dollars?
Mr. Joyce: Well, with the exception of treatments stockpiled against a few defined threats, our civilian and military populations remain naked against pathogen threats most likely to be weaponized in a bioterror attack or emerge naturally to trigger a pandemic outbreak. However, the fear of the next biological weapon attack or pandemic outbreak is not the only rationale for spending taxpayer dollars on these programs. It should be recognized that these programs provide the impetus for therapeutic innovation that could lead to landmark advances in healthcare.
InvestorIdeas : What kind of therapeutic innovation are we talking about?
Mr. Joyce: Since the focus of government programs has been redirected to supporting broad-spectrum countermeasures, the resulting innovation might be the introduction of life-saving therapies that are effective against pathogens created by man to circumvent traditional drugs and vaccines. Or perhaps, pathogens that might emerge naturally and therefore would not have a corresponding drug or vaccine. Much like the SARS outbreak of 2003. It would seem that such innovation would transcend the treatment of bioterror and pandemic threats to provide new therapeutic strategies against mainstream disease conditions as well.
InvestorIdeas: Do you consider Aethlon Medical to be an innovative company?
Mr. Joyce: Absolutely. Innovation by definition requires taking an entirely different and sometimes more difficult path to achieve an objective. No long ago, it was believed that only drugs or vaccines could address viral infections. We didn't agree. So we created a medical device, the Hemopurifier® that might just redefine the premise of how to treat infectious disease. In fact, we are gathering evidence that suggests our Hemopurifier® has attributes beyond the capabilities of drug agents.
InvestorIdeas: Can you elaborate further on that statement?
Mr. Joyce: First and foremost, I am not aware of any drug candidate that has demonstrated our breadth of capabilities against viral pathogens, and certainly, a vaccine strategy cannot addresses multiple strains, species, and families of viral pathogens. Beyond that, our device fills an unmet medical need of removing immunosuppressive proteins shed by viruses, and we recently discovered our Hemopurifier® captures disease enhancing exosomes that underlie both infectious disease and cancer. Yet, while these attributes may be beyond the reach of traditional drug and vaccine strategies, they offer to improve the benefit of drug and vaccine strategies. In that regard, I would like to think the combination of our device with drugs would provide for a win-win scenario.
InvestorIdeas: In closing, is there anything else you would like to tell us about your Hemopurifier®?
Mr. Joyce: The device has demonstrated great promise in treating HIV and Hepatitis-C patients and it should be considered the leading broad-spectrum treatment countermeasure against biological weapons and naturally emerging pandemic threats. We are now seeking to leverage the technology platform utilized to create our Hemopurifier®, to build new therapeutic candidates to address other disease conditions, including a device targeted to reduce the occurrence of sepsis.
At Aethlon Medical, we create revolutionary devices to address infectious disease and cancer. Our devices are designed to be novel platform solutions that fill therapeutic voids or aid in disease diagnosis and monitoring.
Our Hemopurifier® is the first medical device to selectively target the removal of infectious viruses and immunosuppressive proteins from the entire circulatory system. We recently discovered that our Hemopurifier® captures tumor-secreted exosomes that suppress the immune system of those afflicted with cancer. Prior to this discovery, a therapeutic strategy to directly inhibit or reverse the immunosuppressive destruction caused by exosomes did not exist in cancer care. By eliminating this mechanism, we believe our Hemopurifier® can fill an unmet clinical need and provide the benefit of an immune-based therapy without adding drug toxicity or interaction risks to established and emerging treatment strategies.
Human studies have documented the ability of our Hemopurifier® to safely reduce viral load in both Hepatitis-C virus (HCV) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infected patients without the administration of antiviral drugs. However, our initial clinical and commercialization focus is to establish our Hemopurifier® as an adjunct therapy to enhance the benefit of both infectious disease and cancer treatment regimens. In this regard, we plan to commercialize our Hemopurifier® in India as we advance our clinical strategies in the United States and the European Union. In vitro studies conducted by government and non-government research institutes have also verified that our Hemopurifier® has broad-spectrum capabilities against bioterror and emerging pandemic threats. These studies have confirmed the capture of Dengue Hemorrhagic Virus, Ebola Hemorrhagic Virus, Lassa Hemorrhagic Virus, West Nile Virus, H5N1 Avian Influenza Virus, 2009 H1N1 Influenza Virus, the reconstructed Spanish Flu of 1918 Virus, and Monkeypox Virus, which serves as a model for human Smallpox infection.
As a therapeutic device, the Hemopurifier® provides us with a pipeline into four significant market opportunities:
1. Cancer: A treatment candidate to improve patient responsiveness to established cancer therapies by removing immunosuppressive exosomes from circulation.
2. Hepatitis-C Virus (HCV): As an adjunct therapy to accelerate viral load reduction at the outset of standard of care drug regimens.
3. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV): Provides a potential therapeutic option for HIV-infected individuals to manage disease progression once they become resistant to antiviral drug regimens.
4. Bioterror and Pandemic Threats: Represents the most advanced broad-spectrum strategy to address untreatable bioterror and emerging pandemic threats.
The Hemopurifier® is an expansive multi-patented platform technology whose mechanism of action can be leveraged to provide therapeutic, diagnostic, and biomarker discovery solutions. As a therapeutic, the Hemopurifier® is a single-use disposable cartridge designed for implementation within the established infrastructure of dialysis machines and other blood circulatory pumps already located in hospitals and clinics worldwide.
In design, our Hemopurifier® is a selective filtration device containing affinity agents that tightly bind to high-mannose structures unique to the surface of exosomes produced by cancer and glycoproteins residing on the envelope of viruses. These agents are immobilized around approximately 2800 porous hollow fibers that run the interior length of our device. The resulting design provides us the novel ability to separate both exosome and viral targets away from blood cells so they can then be selectively and permanently removed from the circulatory system. In application, blood circulation is established into the Hemopurifier® via a catheter or other blood access device. Once blood flow has been established, treatment benefit is immediate as the entire circulatory system can pass through the Hemopurifier® in as little as 15 minutes.
Our wholly owned subsidiary, Exosome Sciences, Inc. (ESI) is focused on the development of exosome-targeted products and services that improve cancer diagnosis, provide post-treatment cancer surveillance, and aid in the discovery of biomarkers that allow doctors to optimize patient therapy. Additional information regarding Aethlon Medical and Exosome Sciences can be accessed online at www.aethlonmedical.com.
Certain of the statements herein may be forward-looking and involve risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements involve assumptions, known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Aethlon Medical, Inc. to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such potential risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, the company's ability to commercialize its Hemopurifier® in India, capability of the Hemopurifier® to reduce viral loads and other disease conditions or to identify or treat disease conditions such as cancer or Hepatitis-C, including the ability to capture exosomes and the impact that potential ability may have on disease conditions, the Company's ability to raise capital when needed, the Company's ability to complete the development of its planned products, the ability of the Company to obtain FDA and other regulatory approvals permitting the sale of its products, the Company's ability to manufacture its products either internally or through outside companies and provide its services, the impact of government regulations, patent protection on the Company's proprietary technology, product liability exposure, uncertainty of market acceptance, competition, technological change, and other risk factors. In such instances, actual results could differ materially as a result of a variety of factors, including the risks associated with the effect of changing economic conditions and other risk factors detailed in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
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