Studies by ImmuneRegen BioSciences Inc, Scottsdale, Ariz, show that a combination therapy of Viprovex and Tamiflu protect lungs more successfully than treating with Tamiflu alone.

In the Tamiflu studies, performed on cotton rats at Virion Laboratories, animals infected with the H3N2 Influenza A/Wuhan/395/95 virus (as a model for the current pandemic-threatening H5N1 avian influenza virus) developed pulmonary inflammation in addition to the decreased temperature, weight loss and nasal and pulmonary viral accumulation.

“Viprovex effectively lowers viral load in lung and nose, and diminishes the impact of infection on temperature and weight loss,” said Hal Siegel, PhD, senior director of product development and regulatory affairs at ImmuneRegen. “In light of these recent positive findings on pulmonary inflammation, we feel it is prudent to continue studying Viprovex as a potential adjunctive to Tamiflu.”

Viprovex is a derivative of Homspera, which is in turn derived from a naturally occurring peptide immunomodulator called Substance P that boosts immune response and improves lung function. ImmuneRegen has been developing Viprovex as an anti-bio terrorism measure.

Tamiflu is Roche Pharmaceuticals’ FDA-approved treatment and prophylactic against influenza. Since 2004, governments of over 75 countries have purchased Tamiflu for stockpiling in anticipation of a feared pandemic influenza outbreak. Roche reported Tamiflu sales  in 2006 of approximately $1.5 billion.