With the World Health Organization recently announcing a vaccine for the deadly coronavirus may be as much as 18 months away, one company is trying to fight the epidemic using an already established medication.
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Ampligen, which was used before to treat SARS in animals, is one place AIM ImmunoTech is looking to hopefully alleviate the fatal virus. AIM, an immuno-pharmacy company that develops and researches possible treatments for immune disorders, diseases and cancers, just filed three patent applications to try to get Ampligen targeted to the coronavirus.
"There's no guarantee, but the Wuhan coronavirus is extremely similar in all of the major areas related to the pathogenic response that would indicate that a therapy might be useful because SARS and Wuhan coronavirus are so similar," AIM ImmunoTech Inc. CEO Thomas Equels said on "The Claman Countdown" on Wednesday.
After the deadly SARS outbreak in 2002, the U.S. National Institutes of Health conducted studies on animals using Ampligen to see if it helped, and it did. In fact, Ampligen received a 100 perfect survival rate when animals received human dosages.
"Ampligen could be a very powerful prophylactic or protective drug, early-onset therapeutic," Equels noted, mentioning, if approved, clinical trials would be the next step.
The three patents AIM filed are for Ampligen to be designated as a therapy for coronavirus internationally and calls for an increase in manufacturing.
The company's shares finished nearly 18 percent higher to close the day at $1.25 on Wednesday after this announcement was made.
Equels believes "American innovation and ingenuity can bring a striking blow to this virus."
"It's not just our effort, you know, but it's the effort of all the companies that are coming together to try and find a therapy as well as a meaningful vaccine because this is a world health threat, and we have to remember that we all have an obligation to do our part," Equels explained.
The number of new cases of the coronavirus in China dropped for a second straight day, health officials said Wednesday in a possible glimmer of hope amid the outbreak that has infected over 45,000 people worldwide and killed more than 1,100.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.