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
|Maintanance equipment necessary for the project (2%)||€1200|
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:
- Purchase consumables for design and production of several candidate anti-rabies proteins.
- 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.
- Consumables for cell culture experiments to test the efficacy of several candidate proteins for their ability to inhibit rabies virus replication.
- 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.
- 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or office phone +31 (0)30 635 5444.
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