Elephant herpesvirus: killing up to 90% of severely  affected animals

Elephant herpesvirus: killing up to 90% of severely affected animals

 

 

Elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus (EEHV) can infect and cause mortality in captive and wild elephants posing a threat to the continuation and success of captive breeding programs for the highly endangered Asian elephant in both North American and European zoos. As a result, development of a safe and effective vaccine has high priority and will have a great impact on the health of captive elephants, safe geographic translocations and successful continuation of breeding programs. Artemis One Health has been focusing on the development of an ELISA that can be used to study the epidemiology of the disease, and the development of a safe and effective vaccine. In order to achieve both tasks Artemis is working on producing the glycoprotein B (gB) and N (gN) of the virus. A test was developed using the gB protein to first monitor the presence of the virus in elephant herds in several zoos. However, the amount of gB that we managed to produce is not enough or sufficiently pure to allow large scale studies. Therefore, currently we are using a novel protein expression platform (Leishmania tarentolae) to produce the gB and gN protein which will be used for the development of a new generation serological test and a potential candidate vaccine.

elephant-asian_artemis-one-health-elephant-herpes-virus   animal-save-elephants-elephant-herpesvirus-artemis_

What is the context of this research?

EEHV can cause a highly fatal hemorrhagic disease (bleeding disease) in young Asian elephants, like Ebola in humans, often affecting those born in captivity, and killing up to 90% of severely affected animals. Since 1995, over fifty disease cases have been documented in North America and Europe, of which only nine have been successfully cured. As it is difficult to cure EEHV bleeding disease, a safe and effective vaccine currently represents the most feasible strategy in combating this disease. The glycoprotein N of EEHV is highly immunogenic and represents a plausible candidate protein for a vaccine against EEHV. The Leishmania protein expression system (LEXSY; Jena Bioscience GmbH), based on the lizard parasite Leishmania tarentolae, has been described in the literature for its ability to efficiently express proteins at a large scale, but also for its ability to add the right sugar groups to protein, allowing them to closely resemble their native form. As a result, expression of gN using the Leishmania platform is likely to increase the chance of this protein to induce an effective immune response.

 elephant-asian-elephant-herpesvirus-artemis-one-health-eehv_    elephant-extinction-save-elephants-artemis-one-health_

What is the significance of this charity project?

The elephant is one of the most recognized and beloved animal species and is listed by the World Conservation Union as a critically endangered species. Captive breeding is the only source for replacing elephants at zoos and for maintaining the genetic diversity of captive populations. EEHV can kill up to 90% of severely affected animals, including baby elephants, the virus represents an additional threat to the propagation of an animal species that is already highly endangered due to human behaviour, such as poaching and habitat destruction. Vaccination of captive elephants represents the most plausible and cost-effective strategy for combating EEHV-related deaths and increasing the survival of this important animal species. Producing a highly immunogenic protein of EEHV at a large scale brings us one step closer to the development of an effective vaccine.

 

What are the goals?

  • Expression and purification of gB and gN in Leishmania tarentola.
  • Testing the antigenicity of the protein in an ELISA using sera from EEHV-infected zoo elephants.
  • Development of a safe and effective vaccine against EEHV.

 

Overview investment of the money

Request: Artemis One Health Research Foundation is  seeking up as much as €30.000 in funding for this charity project

Laboratory consumables  € 24,150
Meetings (2,5%)        €750
Maintanance equipment necessary for the project (2%)        €600
Overhead (15%)      €4500
Total   €30,000

 

Use of Budget

More of 80% of the budget will be used to the actual project, which is the development of the serological test to be able to diagnose infection with EEHV and development of an effective vaccine against EEHV. The laboratory work includes producing the protein in large quantities and purification of the protein. Subsequently the protein will be used to develop a reliable test to detect antibodies against the virus in blood of elephants. In addition, work will be done to produce and test an effective candidate vaccine against EEHV. The budget will also cover indirect costs that are crucial to perform the proposed work, which include maintenance of equipment relevant to execute the project, overhead, and meetings that are necessary to manage the project and discuss results and further steps forward. The work will start as soon as 80% of the requested funding is achieved. The duration of the project is envisioned to be 3 years.

Our researchers will share the outcomes of the experiment directly with the backer who signed in for this particular newsletter. The outcomes of this project will be published in the form of peer-reviewed journal publication, open data sets, graduate theses, academic posters, and more.
budget EEHV

Artemis One Health Research Foundation depends to a great extent on the support and generosity of donors for the success of our research projects. To guarantee that more than 80% of the donations goes to research, we need another source of funding to cover the salary for a technician to do the work. For this specific project we are seeking support for one technician for the duration of 3 years. The costs for personnel are estimated at 43,940 euro per year. Note that such a technician can be used for max three of the project lines of Artemis. In the face of lack of support for personnel, we will cover the personnel costs from own investments. However as a foundation relying on donations for specific programs we will appreciate your generosity to help us cover the personnel cost of this project. Are you a strong believer in our mission and do you/your organization want to support us in this fight, please feel free to contact our head Research & Development, Dr. Byron Martina by email b.martina@artemisonehealth.com or office phone +31 (0)30 635 5444.

 

RECEIVE THIS FREE GIFT (donations ≥ €35,-)

Donate TODAY and receive this free elephant keychain as our modest way to thank you for supporting our fight against the elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus.

 
 
 
 
 

WE NEED YOUR HELP! DONATE & SHARE this charity project and make people aware

* Please read these Terms & Conditions carefully. By donating you are agreeing to these terms and conditions. If you have any queries regarding our Charity Donation Services, please contact our Fundraising Officer, by email e.martina@artemisonehealth.com or office phone +31 (0)30 635 5444.

 

 

 

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Rabies treatment for “ALL”

Rabies treatment for “ALL”

 When viruses infect a cell, they take over its cellular machinery for the purpose of creating more copies of itself. Rabies virus specifically infects neurons in the brain leading to neuron dysfuction and death. As a result of infection, cells in the brain reacts and try to resolve the infection, leading to more damage. There are a handful of drugs that combat specific viruses, but no drugs are available to treat rabies. As a consequence, patients infected with rabies that did not receive the vaccine and immunoglobulins within 48 hours of infection will inevitably die. The only way to save these patients is by having drugs that can inhibit virus replication and mitigate the detrimental immune response to the infection at the same time. Combining a therapeutic approach targeting both components is a novel and very promising approach that Artemis is pursuing. 

 

The mechanism of disease (pathogenesis) for rabies encephalitis is not well understood. Rabies is the deadliest virus known to mankind. Some of the clinical manifestations of rabies include fear of water (hydrophobia) and air (aerophobia). Once a patient develops clinical disease, he/she will certainly die as a result of the infection. To date, 100% of infected individuals die of infection and this cannot be prevented. It is extremely important to have medicines to treat un vaccinated individuals, which is not only important to the developing countries where rabies is a real problem, but also to the developed countries where imported cases have been reported. Artemis One Health has used state-of-the-art technology to decipher some of the pathways involved in the pathogenic process of fatal rabies encephalitis. Furthermore, Artemis has discovered a protein that can naturally target the viral RNA and inhibit virus replication. In this project, Artemis will build on preliminary data and focus on optimising the specificity of the anti-rabies protein to eventually develop a safe and effective anti-rabies treatment.

 

 What is the context of this research?

Rabies kills more than 60,000 people each year, mainly children in the developing countries. Many of these infections could have been prevented or many infected individuals could have been helped if vaccine and immunoglobulin preparations were available at an affordable price. However, it is unrealistic to expect that tourists or even local people will be vaccinated. Alternatively, it might not be obvious that contact with an animal resulted in infection. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to have effective medicines, which can be used to treat infected patients that are too late to receive the vaccine. In order to develop effective medicines, more research needs to be conducted on rabies pathogenesis. In addition, it is crucial to find ways to inhibit virus replication, which is the most important trigger of the downstream pathogenic reactions.

 

 What is the significance of this charity project?

Availability of effective medicines will save the lives of thousands of infected individuals. This research has implications for the whole neuro-infectiology field and the field of neuro-degenerative disease such as Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease.

 

What are the goals?

  • Further validate the anti-rabies compound
  • Optimise the specificity of the anti-rabies compound for rabies virus infected cells
  • Perform efficacy tests in vitro cell models
  • Perform efficacy tests in appropriate animals models

 

Overview investment of the money

Request: Artemis One Health Research Foundation is  seeking up as much as €60.000 in funding for this charity project

Laboratory consumables   €48,300
Meetings (2,5%)      €1500
Maintanance equipment necessary for the project (2%)      €1200
Overhead (15%)      €9000
Total   €60,000

Use of Budget

The process leading to development of a safe and effective medicine against rabies is a long and expensive process, divided into 1) proof-of-concept-selection, 2) proof-of-concept-optimization, 3) preclinical evaluation, 4) clinical trials. However, we owe it to our fellow human beings to develop medicines that can save the lives of infected patients that are too late to receive and benefit from the vaccine. The first and most important phase in this long process is finding and optimizing a candidate anti-rabies compound in vitro and in animals (stages 1, 2 and 3). To date, no one has managed to develop an anti-rabies compound that proved to be effective in animals and could therefore be tested in clinical trials. The goal of Artemis is to participate in development and optimizing candidate anti-rabies compounds (stage 1, 2, and 3). We have developed a candidate anti-rabies that showed promising inhibitory effect in vitro. Therefore, the next crucial step is to make different variants of the compound and select the most promising candidate for further testing in pre-clinical settings. This campaign is meant to raise money to finalize stage 1. Since this stage of the project is crucial in the endeavors to find an effective medicine against rabies, it represents a permanent line of our rabies research line. To ensure that this stage can be successfully done, we need approximately 60,000 euro. To be able to start this stage of the project, we need a minimum of 20,000 euro but since our goal is to successfully finalize this stage, the campaign will continue until the complete budget is obtained.

More of 80% of the budget will be used for the actual research, which is the further optimization of our first candidate vaccine against rabies.

This part of the work includes producing several candidate medicines (anti-rabies compounds). The budget will be used to:

  1. Purchase consumables for design and production of several candidate anti-rabies proteins.
  2. Optimization the protein to make it safe. It is a requirement that compound to be tested in preclinical settings must be safe. A significant amount of time should be invested in this phase to ensure development of medicines that are safe and with little side-effects.
  3. Consumables for cell culture experiments to test the efficacy of several candidate proteins for their ability to inhibit rabies virus replication.
  4. Analysis of results and preparation for a second round of pre-clinical studies. Proper analysis of the results needs sophisticated tools such as laboratory associated immune correlates of protection, statistical analysis, and in silico-modeling.
  5. The budget will also cover indirect costs that are crucial to perform the proposed work, which include maintenance of equipment relevant to execute the project, overhead, and meetings that are necessary to manage the project and discuss results and further steps forward. The work will start as soon as 30% of the requested funding is achieved. The duration of the stage 2 of the project is envisioned to be 4 years.

 

In order to show our commitment to the project we will contribute with 10% of the budget from our own investment. To further ensure that we will raise minimum of 30% of the budget or the complete budget needed to finish stage 2, will invest all our time and energy to find extra support for our campaign from companies and philanthropists. If after two year from start of the campaign we do not manage to raise at least 20,000 euro, we will either use the money to support our first rabies campaign (vaccine development) or donate the collected money to the Sharon Live On Foundation (www.sharonliveon.org/), a foundation opened by the parents that tragically lost their daughter to rabies. They started this foundation to address the shortages of rabies vaccine in Kenya and to ensure that more Kenyans know about the dangers of rabies.

Our researchers will share the outcomes of the experiment directly with the backer who signed in for this particular newsletter. The outcomes of this project will be published in the form of peer-reviewed journal publication, open data sets, graduate theses, academic posters, and more.

budget

Artemis One Health Research Foundation depends to a great extent on the support and generosity of donors for the success of our research projects. To guarantee that more than 80% of the donations goes to research, we need another source of funding to cover the salary for a technician to do the work. For this specific project we are seeking support for one technician for the duration of 4 years. The costs for personnel are estimated at 43,940 euro per year. Note that such a technician can be used for max three of the project lines of Artemis. In the face of lack of support for personnel, we will cover the personnel costs from own investments. However as a foundation relying on donations for specific programs we will appreciate your generosity to help us cover the personnel cost of this project. Are you a strong believer in our mission and do you/your organization want to support us in this fight, please feel free to contact our head Research & Development, Dr. Byron Martina by email b.martina@artemisonehealth.com or office phone +31 (0)30 635 5444.

 

WE NEED YOUR HELP! DONATE & SHARE this charity project and make people aware

* Please read these Terms & Conditions carefully. By donating you are agreeing to these terms and conditions. If you have any queries regarding our Charity Donation Services, please contact our Fundraising Officer, by email e.martina@artemisonehealth.com or office phone +31 (0)30 635 5444.

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Rabies vaccines and immunoglobulins: “Affordable” and accessible for the “POOR”

Rabies vaccines and immunoglobulins: “Affordable” and accessible for the “POOR”

Rabies is the most deadly viral disease known today and 3 BILLION PEOPLE IN THE WORLD ARE AT RISK of contracting the disease. MORE THAN 60,000 PEOPLE DIE of rabies each year because they cannot get the care they need. That is equivalent to 1 person dying of rabies every 9 minutes or 160 people per day. Most of these deaths occurs in Africa and Asia, the poorest continents in the world, and nearly half of the victims are children under the age of 15. Many of these lives can be saved if bite victims and healthcare providers know what to do and have what they need —rabies vaccine and immunoglobulin. However, these life-saving therapeutics are way too expensive for these people, meaning that the majority dies.  

 

Rabies is the deadliest virus known to mankind. Some of the clinical manifestations of rabies include fear of water (hydrophobia) and air (aerophobia). The mechanism of disease (pathogenesis) for rabies encephalitis is not well understood. However, infection and its deadly consequences can be prevented with a vaccine. Once bitten by an infected dog, infection can still be prevented if non-vaccinated patients receive vaccination and anti-serum (immunoglubulins) within 48 hours. Unfortunately, both the vaccine and the immunoglobulin preparations are too expensive for the poor. With this project, Artemis One Health will work on the development of safe and affordable candidate vaccines and immunoglobulins against rabies.

 

 What is the context of this research?

Although rabies is 99,9% fatal, it is also 100% preventable IF VACCINES ARE USED. In order to protect the population at risk from an agonizing death there is a need for safe, potent and affordable vaccines that can be widely available in these areas. Rabies kills more than 60,000 people each year, mainly children in the developing countries. Many of these infections could have been prevented or many infected individuals could have been helped if vaccine and immunoglobulin preparations were available at an affordable price. However, the current platforms for the production of these agents are complex and expensive.

 

 What is the significance of this charity project?

Availability of affordable vaccines and immunoglobulins will save thousands of lives. Development of the platform for production of cheap and effective vaccines and immunoglobulins is also important if we want to produce these agents against other neglected diseases.

 

What are the goals?

  • Develop candidate vaccines and immunoglobulins that are more effective than the currently available ones.
  • Develop methodological and marketing strategies to produce cheap vaccines and immunoglobulins

 

Overview investment of the money

Request: Artemis One Health Research Foundation is  seeking up as much as €60.000 in funding for this charity project

Laboratory consumables   €48,300
Meetings (2,5%)      €1500
Maintanance equipment necessary for the project (2%)      €1200
Overhead (15%)      €9000
Total   €60,000

 

Use of Budget

Rabies disease results in an estimated $8.6 billion of economic losses annually, and the most cost-effective way to stop rabies is vaccination. The process leading to development of a safe and effective vaccine against rabies can be divided into four stages: 1) proof-of-concept-selection, 2) proof-of-concept-optimization, 3) preclinical evaluation, 4) clinical trials. Artemis is committed to finalize the first three stages of this process. We already successfully finished stage 1, where we developed an effective candidate vaccine that protects animals from deadly infection. This first vaccine was published recently in a scientific peer-reviewed journal (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24962755). THIS CAMPAIGN IS MEANT TO RAISE MONEY TO FINALIZE STAGE 2. Since this stage of the project is crucial in the fight against rabies, it represents a permanent line of our rabies research line. To ensure that this stage can be successfully done, we need approximately 60,000 euro. To be able to start this stage of the project, we need a minimum of 20,000 euro but since our goal is to successfully finalize this stage, the campaign will continue until the complete budget is obtained.

More of 80% of the budget will be used for the actual research, which is the further optimization of our first candidate vaccine against rabies. The vaccine is intended for those that need it the most, particularly children living in resource-poor countries. This part of the work includes producing several optimized versions of the candidate vaccines. The work consists of:

  • Produce and purify several versions of the rabies virus protein, and finding the most optimal version of the protein is the determinant of a successful vaccine.
  • Purchase and housing of mice to test the vaccine candidates. Clearly the best vaccine will be the one able to provide protection after only one shot of the vaccine.
  • Develop in vitro assays that allow future evaluation of the vaccine in animal-free systems.
  • Analysis of results and preparation for a second round of pre-clinical studies. Proper analysis of the results needs sophisticated tools such as laboratory associated immune correlates of protection, statistical analysis, and modeling.
  • The budget will also cover indirect costs that are crucial to perform the proposed work, which include maintenance of equipment relevant to execute the project, overhead, and meetings that are necessary to manage the project and discuss results and further steps forward. The work will start as soon as 30% of the requested funding is achieved. The duration of the stage 2 of the project is envisioned to be 4 years.

In order to show our commitment to the project we will contribute 10% of the budget from our own investment. To further ensure that we will raise minimum of 30% of the budget or the complete budget needed to finish stage 2, will invest all our time and energy to find extra support for our campaign from companies and philanthropists. If after two years from start of the campaign we do not manage to raise at least 20,000 euro, we will either use the money to support our second rabies campaign (Development of an anti-rabies treatment) or donate the collected money to the Sharon Live On Foundation (www.sharonliveon.org/), a foundation opened by the parents that tragically lost their daughter to rabies. They started this foundation to address the shortages of rabies vaccine in Kenya and to ensure that more Kenyans know about the dangers of rabies.

Our researchers will share the outcomes of the experiment directly with the backer who signed in for this particular newsletter. The outcomes of this project will be published in the form of peer-reviewed journal publication, open data sets, graduate theses, academic posters, and more.

budget

Artemis One Health Research Foundation depends to a great extent on the support and generosity of donors for the success of our research projects. To guarantee that more than 80% of the donations go to research, we need another source of funding to cover the salary for a technician to do the work. For this specific project we are seeking support for one technician for the duration of 4 years. The costs for personnel are estimated at 43,940 euro per year. Note that such a technician can be used for max three of the project lines of Artemis. In the face of lack of support for personnel, we will cover the personnel costs from own investments. However, as a foundation relying on donations for specific programs, we will appreciate your generosity to help us cover the personnel cost of this project. Are you a strong believer in our mission and do you/your organization want to support us in this fight, please feel free to contact our head Research & Development, Dr. Byron Martina by email b.martina@artemisonehealth.com or office phone +31306355444.

 

WE NEED YOUR HELP! DONATE & SHARE this charity project and make people aware

 

* Please read these Terms & Conditions carefully. By donating you are agreeing to these terms and conditions. If you have any queries regarding our Charity Donation Services, please contact our Fundraising Officer, by email e.martina@artemisonehealth.com or office phone +31 (0)30 635 5444.

 

 

 

 

 

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