According to this press release last sentence, "we are finishing preclinical development, and hopefully we will be able to bring it to human trials soon." Sounds good but this was written in February of 2001. This project has never been heard from again, of course. Most people have caught on that this company has loads of preclinical results that never seem to go anywhere. Adding one more to the pile doesn't cut it any more. SARS is extinct in the wild anyway, the BC "outbreak" wasn't SARS. IMHO
PORTLAND, Ore.--(BW HealthWire)--Feb. 9, 2001--AVI BioPharma Inc. (Nasdaq:AVII) (Nasdaq:AVIIW, AVIIZ), in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, and University of Washington stem cell research pioneer Steve Bartelmez, Ph.D., presented findings which demonstrate that AVI's NEUGENE(R) antisense technology regulates stem cell proliferation and differentiation.
"Stem cell research has been important to our understanding of critical disease mechanisms. Coupled with this new ability to regulate their proliferation using our antisense technology, we're looking at new paths to understanding and treating numerous life-threatening diseases," said AVI's CEO Denis R. Burger, Ph.D. "These findings also emphasize the breadth of our antisense technology. Based on this data, we expect NEUGENES to play a significant role in the future of stem cell transplantation."
Stem cells, which come from the bone marrow and are the origin for a variety of blood cells, are transplanted into patients with depleted bone marrow due to cancer chemotherapy, radiation, or several other causes. Since stem cells are in low supply and difficult to expand in the laboratory, there is always considerable risk during bone marrow transplantation. The data demonstrate the versatility of AVI's NEUGENE technology in selectively regulating either proliferation or differentiation of bone marrow stem cells. AVI's antisense compound, targeted against the TGF-beta gene, induced dramatic stem cell multiplication without the problems other research in this area has faced. This could potentially eliminate the need for large quantities of stem cells in the bone marrow transplant setting. "Bone marrow transplantation is now essential therapy for several diseases and there is even speculation that an important feature of cancer is stem cells gone awry. Therefore, it is possible that someday we will be able to control cancer and a large number of other diseases, through the same mechanism we saw in this work," said Patrick Iversen, Ph.D., AVI's Senior Vice President of Research and Development. "The presentation of this data signals that we are finishing preclinical development, and hopefully we will be able to bring it to human trials soon."