Re Dr Lapp Hemispherx Biopharma

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Gretchen12, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. Gretchen12

    Gretchen12 New Member

    I contacted Dr. Lapp's office and asked about his connection with Hemispherx Biopharma. I was told that he was a consultant and did studies for Hemispherx.

    I asked flat out if he was paid for these "studies" and was told that YES he was paid for the studies by Hemispherx.
    Of course, she would not say exactly what the pay was.

    Hope this answers the questions that have been raised.

    To me, this just opens up more questions.

  2. Gretchen12

    Gretchen12 New Member

  3. DorothyVivian

    DorothyVivian New Member

    Thanks for checking this out. I understand that quite a lot of research into some fields of interest that haven't gained widespread 'popularity' is funded in this manner, that is through independent consultants with independent labs, etc. Still, it is always good to know who is funding what research!
    Thanks again.
    With love--and gentle hugs, Dorothy
  4. wrthster

    wrthster New Member

    That is great! I think that is awesome you called the office to find this out. So basically, I guess you might say that some of his patients could be considered lab rats for Hems experiments with Ampligen.

    Speaking only for myself, I think he has crossed the wrong line and never would see him. But than again to be honest I was never to impressed with him and always thought he was very over priced.
  5. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Ever since I first tried to figure out the mechanism of Ampligen, I've been suspicious of it.

    The immune system is designed to kill viruses primarily with components such as T-cells, B-cells and Natural Killer Cells. These destroy viruses without killing the human cells in which they replicate.

    Only when these immune system components fail does Rnase-L kick in. This destroys viruses also, but at a high cost, since it does so by killing the cells in which they reside. This increases apoptosis, or cell death.

    Apoptosis is hard on the body. At best, the body has to work hard to replace the cells. If not enough energy is available to replace the cells, the body begins to fall apart.

    The current theory is that with CFS (or at least in a certain type), NK Cells are disabled. This is unfortunate, since there are some kinds of viruses (specifically, herpes family viruses) that hide from T-cells and B-cells and thus only can be destroyed by NK cells.

    (Why Nk Cells are disabled is uncertain. One possibility is that a certain kind of herpes family virus--perhaps one that has not yet been discovered--does the dirty work.)

    The disabling of the NK Cells causes Rnase-L activity to naturally increase. Many CFS patients have Rnase-L levels that are elevated, in order to compensate for low NK Cell levels. (My own tests show NK Cell activity at 1/4 what it should be and Rnase-L at 4x what it should be. As would be expected, apoptosis--cell death--is also high.)

    Some argue that part of the elevated Rnase-L levels in CFS patients is due to Low Molecular Weight Rnase-L, which is ineffective or harmful. I've yet to have that tested myself.

    Regardless, it is important to note that Ampligen artificially increases the amount of Rnase-L activity in CFS patients. This kills off viruses but at a very high cost (cell death).

    It thus seems unsurprising that patients get only partially well on a temporary basis, and that they relapse (perhaps to an even lower level than before) later on. All that cell death has got to be hard on the body.

    Screwing around with the body's natural immune system is a tricky business. In the case of Rnase-L, it sounds like a dangerous one as well.

    If CFS patients' immune systems are going to be altered with drugs, trying to improve NK Cell activity sounds like a better idea to me than increasing Rnase-L activity. NK Cells kill off viruses without destroying the body.

    The fact that CfS patients who have used Ampligen do not seem to have had very good long-term results does not seem surprising to me, therefore. Neither does the lack of FdA approval for Ampligen.

    (This assumes that I am correct in my understanding of what the drug does, of course. Please correct me if I'm wrong.)

    As for Hemispherx.....after putting that much money into the drug, I suppose that I am not surprised that the company doesn't want to give up on it. However, making misleading claims about its success on trial patients and paying doctors to keep testing it does not seem right to me. (I don't know if this is considered illegal or unethical though.)

    All in all, I'm pretty inclined to stay far away from anything to do with Ampligen, including Dr. Lapp.

    What I do wonder is about the idea that Nexavir is (as Dr. Cheney states) "a weak form of Ampligen." I do not know what that means.

    Based on my understanding of Ampligen, that's not a good recommendation. On the other hand, my own doctor likes the drug, and I've not heard that Dr. Cheney has made any harmful recommendations thus far (even if some of his claims of having "the answer" have been hyperbolic).

    Hopefully I can get a brief explanation of Nexavir's mechanism at my next doctor's appointment, if we have time.

    The Ampligen stuff sounds like a real mess though.

    Best, Lisa

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