Immuno-pharmaceutical company AIM ImmunoTech Inc. (AIM:NYSE.American), which focuses on research and development of therapeutics to treat immune disorders, viral diseases and multiple types of cancers, today announced that "the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) in Japan will begin testing AIM's drug AmpligenŽ as a potential treatment for COVID-19, the new coronavirus infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2." The company reported that the experimental program will be implemented and carried out at both the NIID and the University of Tokyo.
According to the report, "the testing and research are being conducted by Hideki Hasegawa, MD, Ph.D., Director of the NIID's Influenza Virus Research Center, and Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Reference and Research on Influenza, Tokyo and Takeshi Ichinohe, Ph.D., Department of Pathology at the NIID, Department of Biological Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science."
The company's CEO Thomas K. Equels commented, "As we have been saying all along, this emerging pandemic is caused by a virus that has nearly identical regulatory RNA sequences to the original SARS coronavirus, known as SARS-CoV-1, in respect to pathogenesis. This means that the prior studies of Ampligen in SARS-CoV-1 animal experimentation may predict similar protective effects against the new virus. The WHO has recently renamed this emerging, highly pathogenic virus as SARS-CoV-2."
"Ampligen had excellent antiviral activity against the earlier SARS coronavirus in U.S. National Institutes of Health-contracted animal experiments. In those studies of SARS-infected mice, Ampligen stands out as the only drug tested that conferred a significant survival effect: 100% of the Ampligen-treated mice survived, while none of the untreated mice survived. Because SARS-CoV-2 shares many critical similarities with SARS-CoV-1, Ampligen may have an important role to play in developing a protective early-onset therapy for this new highly pathogenic coronavirus in humans, where currently there is no known effective therapy. We are proud to work with Japan's universally esteemed NIID in the battle to curb this emerging potential pandemic," CEO Equels added.
The company explained that Ampligen (rintatolimod) is a broad-spectrum antiviral that it claims has an extremely well-developed safety profile. Rintatolimod is a double-stranded RNA which the firm is developing for debilitating diseases and disorders of the immune system.
AIM ImmunoTech is based in Ocala, Fla., and describes its business as "an immuno-pharma company focused on the research and development of therapeutics to treat immune disorders, viral diseases and multiple types of cancers." The company stated that "its flagship products include the Argentina-approved drug rintatolimod (trade names AmpligenŽ or RintamodŽ) and the FDA-approved drug Alferon N InjectionŽ." The firm believes that based on pre-clinical studies and clinical trials, Ampligen may have broad-spectrum anti-viral and anti-cancer properties. The firm indicated that it has already conducted clinical trials of Ampligen in cancer patients in the areas of renal cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma, colorectal cancer, advanced recurrent ovarian cancer and triple negative metastatic breast cancer. Additional financing is still required for funding clinical studies in these indication areas to confirm safety and efficacy before regulatory approvals can be obtained.
AIM ImmunoTech began the day with a market capitalization of around $46.3 million with approximately 22.06 million shares outstanding. AIM shares opened nearly 67% higher today at $3.50 (+$1.40, +66.67%) over Friday's closing price of $2.10. The stock has traded today between $3.05 and $6.67 per share and is currently trading at $6.05 (+$3.95, +188.10%).[NLINSERT]
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