Aethlon Medical Inc., a San Diego-based medical device company making devices to treat infectious disease and cancer, announced the first shipment of its blood filtration device as a candidate to treat future Ebola virus infections in the United States.
The Hemopurifier is a bio-filtration instrument that targets the rapid elimination of viruses and immunosuppressive proteins from the circulatory system of infected individuals. The device is fitted into a dialysis machine, which filters blood for people with kidney disease. In the case of Ebola, the device removes viruses, plus the proteins that suppress the immune system, from the bloodstream, according to Jim Joyce, CEO and founder of Aethlon.
Aethlon said that four Hemopurifiers have been shipped to the bio-containment unit at the Nebraska Medical Center (NMC) in Omaha as a therapeutic option to be stockpiled for Ebola patients that may be treated at the NMC.
The Nebraska bio-containment unit was commissioned by The U.S. Centers for Disease Control in 2005. It is a joint project involving Nebraska Medicine, Nebraska Health and Human Services and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. It was designed to provide the first line of treatment for people affected by bioterrorism or extremely infectious diseases such as Ebola. The NMC has treated three Ebola patients since the current outbreak.
Aethlon previously reported the successful administration of Hemopurifier therapy to a Ugandan doctor who was infected with the Ebola virus and treated at the Frankfurt University Hospital in Germany. At the time the Hemopurifier therapy was administered, the doctor was unconscious and suffered from multiple organ failure. His viral load prior to the administration of the Hemopurifier treatment was measured at 400,000 virus copies per milliliter of blood. After the treatment, his viral load was measured at 1,000 copies. His viral load became undetectable five days after therapy. The doctor has since made a full recovery and has returned home to his family in Uganda.
In the U.S., Hemopurifier therapy is available to treat Ebola patients through U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded access "emergency use" provisions to address life-threatening circumstances for which an alternative therapy is not available.
Aethlon (NASDAQ:OTCQB:AEMD) will soon begin the first U.S. clinical Hemopurifier studies following the FDA's approval of an Investigational Device Exemption.