New Research Could Lead to Potential Treatment for SARS


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- With the annual flu season almost upon us, many government officials, both domestic and international, are concerned that SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) will make a comeback and become more widespread than the original epidemic. On Sept. 8, an ethnic Chinese Singapore citizen tested positive for SARS, further concerning officials of a resurgence of the disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there had been over 8,400 SARS cases reported to date, with over 900 deaths.

In an attempt to assist local, federal and international officials deal with the possible threat of another outbreak, ImmuneRegen BioSciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of IR BioSciences Holdings, Inc., has recently completed testing on the Hong Kong influenza virus, which is similar in nature to that of SARS. Company executives believe this research may indicate efficacy of their proprietary compound Homspera in treating the Hong Kong respiratory virus in mice. Additionally, company executives believe these test results are vital to research designed to develop a treatment for SARS.

The study, conducted at the University of Arizona Lung Injury Lab by Dr. Mark Witten, PhD, co-founder and acting head researcher of ImmuneRegen, was performed on 31 mice total. The results show that, of those mice treated with Homspera, over 90 percent survived the lung injury and currently do not appear to show any adverse signs or side effects from the exposure or the treatment.

Witten has over 20 years of experience in the research field and over 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications. His first research initiatives examined the role of lung permeability changes in the lungs after exposure to acute cigarette smoke. With funding obtained from the U.S. Army Medical Research & Materiel Command, Witten began to develop an acute smoke exposure model utilizing diesel fuel smoke. He spent two years as an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, where he conducted additional research in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)/Acute Lung Injury (ALI). In 1990, he became Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, where he started his JP-8 inhalation toxicology research for the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

Source: ImmuneRegen BioSciences, Inc.

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