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In 2006, the New York Blood Center (NYBC) announced the decision to end their use of chimpanzees in research and close the Vilab II chimpanzee research facility in Liberia. According to the Hepatitis Research Foundation (HRF), associated with NYBC, Vilab’s remaining 74 chimpanzees would be resocialized into groups and released into the Liberia Chimpanzee Sanctuary, also known as the Vilab II Island Sanctuary Project, pending the completion of existing protocols. For example, in 2007, HRF completed a chimpanzee vaccine trial involving hepatitis B and C viruses, with human clinical trials scheduled to begin in 2008 when “chimpanzee research [would] no longer [be] needed.” The NYBC is said to have purchased more than six islands off the coast of Liberia as sanctuary for the chimpanzees.
Established in 1964, New York Blood Center (NYBC) is one of the largest community-based, nonprofit blood collection and distribution organizations in the United States. Through the integrated efforts of our blood services operations, NYBC annually provides some one million blood components to nearly 200 hospitals throughout New York City, New Jersey, Hudson Valley, Long Island, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.
NYBC provides blood products and services to meet the needs of cancer and surgery patients, accident and burn victims, AIDS and sickle cell anemia patients, transplant recipients, hemophiliacs, and many others. Its Clinical Services Program provides state-of-the-art transfusion services and highly specialized patient care procedures each year at hospitals in the tri-state area, and NYBC's Hemophilia Services Program ensures local hemophilia patients have access to the 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week care, counseling, and clotting factors they require.
Researchers in the Laboratory of Viral Immunology are focused on the development of therapeutics and vaccines for the treatment and prevention of HIV infection/AIDS and other emerging infectious diseases caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), SARS-like viruses, and influenza viruses.
Discovered the first anti-HIV peptide derived from the HIV-1 gp41 C-terminal heptad repeat region. The patents for this discovery were licensed to Trimeris Inc., a pharmaceutical company which, in partnership with F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., developed a peptidic anti-HIV drug, Fuzeon. This drug was approved by the FDA in 2003 as the first member of a new class of anti-HIV drugs, HIV fusion inhibitors, for treatment of HIV/AIDS patients who fail to respond to the current antiretroviral therapeutics.
Identified a series of small molecule "drug-like" compounds, peptides and recombinant proteins. These active molecules will be used as leads for development of next generation HIV fusion/entry inhibitors.
Investigating a “shock and kill” strategy to develop HIV activators to “shock” the latent virus out of reservoir and HIV inactivators to “kill” the virus and its infected cell, for curing HIV/AIDS.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and SARS-like Viruses
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was the first novel infectious disease identified in the 21st century.
Determined that the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV spike (S) protein can induce potent neutralizing antibody responses and protection against SARS-CoV infection using RBD-based antigens for developing effective and safe SARS vaccines.
Using SARS research findings, researchers are studying the novel human coronavirus (hCoV) which recently caused SARS-like illness and shows person-to-person transmission, raising serious global concern.
The global spread of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 and the continuous threat of future influenza pandemic have demonstrated the need to develop novel vaccines against virus infection.
Found that vaccine candidates containing the conserved neutralizing epitopes of the virus surface protein hemagglutinin (HA) linking to IgG Fc (an immunoenhancer) and Fd (a trimerization motif) could induce potent immune responses that cross-protect against divergent strains of influenza viruses.
Identified a HA1-targeting broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibody that cross-protected against multiple strains of H5N1 virus covering divergent clades.
These vaccines and therapeutics will be developed for preventing and treating infection of the current and future influenza strains that may cause epidemics and pandemics.
This is a call for an immediate, thorough, and independent investigation of Tulane University researchers and their Fort Detrick associates in the US biowarfare research community, who have been operating in West Africa during the past several years.
What exactly have they been doing?
Why do we have reports that the government of Sierra Leone has recently told Tulane researchers to stop this testing?
The research program, occurring in Sierra Leone, the Republic of Guinea, and Liberia—said to be the epicenter of the 2014 Ebola outbreak—has the announced purpose, among others, of detecting the future use of fever-viruses as bioweapons.
Earlier this year, during an audit of the nation's largest Level-4 BioSafety Lab (BSL-4) at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, 9,220 vials of ebola, anthrax, botulinum, equine encephalitis virus, and other deadly germs were discovered in the proverbial dusty old storage area. No one even knew the vials existed and thus no one knows for sure whether any are missing.
hat may be about to change. In the journal Nature, scientists -- who conducted much of their work in the secretive, high-containment biological laboratory maintained by USAMRIID at Fort Detrick, Maryland -- have reported the discovery of a small molecule that rescues rodents and monkeys from various hemorrhagic fevers. Even more, the drug exhibited activity against a wide range of viruses.
According to the Hepatitis Research Foundation (HRF), associated with NYBC, Vilab’s remaining 74 chimpanzees would be resocialized into groups and released into the Liberia Chimpanzee Sanctuary, also known as the Vilab II Island Sanctuary Project, pending the completion of existing protocols. For example, in 2007, HRF completed a chimpanzee vaccine trial involving hepatitis B and C viruses, with human clinical trials scheduled to begin in 2008 when “chimpanzee research [would] no longer [be] needed.”
Under a large headline, ''To all who received blood from January 1991 to December 1996 in a New York/New Jersey hospital,'' they warned that ''there may have been a problem'' with the viral infections tests done during that period by the center, which provides about 80 percent of the blood used in New York City hospitals. As a result, blood recipients ''may face a potential risk of transfusion-transmitted infections, such as H.I.V. and hepatitis,'' the advertisements said. Anyone concerned was encouraged to call (800) 688-0900 to arrange for free testing.
In fact, the center's executives said, the advertisements were intended to reassure anyone with lingering fears stemming from a scandal at the center a year and a half ago, in which two employees were convicted and sentenced on charges of tampering with blood screening tests, creating false records and conspiracy.