VIENNA, Va. -- Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine has been awarded a $1.1 million grant for collaborative studies with CEL-SCI Corp. to support the research of Ken S. Rosenthal, PhD and colleagues on the development of CEL-SCI's new compound, CEL-1000, as a possible treatment for viral encephalitis. Viral encephalitis is a potentially lethal inflammation of the brain.
More than 100 different types of viruses can cause acute encephalitis. In the United States, the most frequently reported causes are herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2) and viruses spread by insects. These include: West Nile Virus and three viruses that the U.S. government has included in the second highest level immediate risk category for use as biological weapons -- The Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE), the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE). Antiviral drugs are available for the treatment of herpes simplex virus infections, but antiviral drugs are not available for other encephalitis-causing viruses.
Daniel Zimmerman, senior vice president of research, cellular immunology of CEL-SCI commented, "We believe that there could be significant potential for CEL-1000 as a possible treatment for viral encephalitis. Earlier studies in Dr. Rosenthal's lab with Dr. Neena Goel had shown high levels of protection in animal studies against Herpes Simplex Virus. Other researchers have shown that CEL-1000 also protects against malaria and cancer in animal models. These studies suggest that CEL-1000 modulates the immune system to more effectively fight different diseases."
This grant was awarded following a peer review process and will fund pre- clinical studies leading up to toxicology studies.
CEL-1000 is a modified version of a human immune-based protein known to bind to both human and mouse immune cells and appears to act by enhancing the host's immune protective immune response. It is also expected to be active for humans.
CEL-SCI Corp. is developing new immune system based treatments for cancer and infectious diseases.
Source: CEL-SCI Corporation