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HELP Funding Duke Research!

Discussion in 'Herpes Clinical Trials' started by itscuretime, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. itscuretime

    itscuretime Member

    I wrote an e-mail to Bryan R. Cullen, Ph.D.
    Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
    Director, Duke University Center for Virology

    He is the one who over-saw the research done this year. I inquired about how the public could help fund his research, and here was his response:

    "Dear Mr. xxx,

    Thank you for your interest in our research. As there have been many
    enquiries as to how this progressing, I have drafterd a general statement
    of where we are at this point (see below). Although I am encouraged by how
    things are going, it will undoubtedly be years before we can proceed from
    animals to clinical testing in humans and this will require extensive
    funding. Therefore, I am grateful for your interest in helping to support
    our research and I will pass your name on to the responsible individual
    here at Duke. Hopefully, you will be contacted soon.

    Best wishes,

    Bryan R. Cullen, Ph.D.

    We have received a considerable number of e-mails that have asked questions
    about the report we recently published in the scientific journal "Nature."
    This report received extensive press coverage, some of it misleading. We
    will briefly answer some of the most common questions that we have been
    asked, and particularly how our work relates to a new treatment for cold
    sores, caused by Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV-1), or genital ulcers, caused
    by the related but distinct HSV-2. We also attach the press release issued
    by Duke University Medical Center, which was the basis for all the press

    1) What have you accomplished?

    Our work provides, for the first time, a molecular understanding of how
    HSV-1 establishes a life-long latent infection in the nerve cells of the
    face, and how it reactivates from latency to cause cold sores.

    2) Have you developed a new treatment for cold sores?

    The work we have performed provides a basis for the development of
    anti-HSV-1 drugs that might be able to permanently clear HSV-1 from

    3) Are these drugs being used on people?

    No, we are currently initiating trials in mice to study efficacy and

    4) When might this drug reach the clinical trial stage?

    We anticipate approximately 2 years of animal experiments in mice followed
    by approximately 1 year of toxicity studies in other animals, followed by
    small studies in healthy volunteers. After that, assuming things go well,
    this drug might proceed to clinical trials in HSV-1 infected individuals.
    It is very possible that the drug candidate might fall out at any of these
    stages, due to lack of effectiveness or some unanticipated side effect.

    5) How does this relate to HSV-2, which causes genital herpes?

    All our work so far has been on HSV-1, the cold sore virus, but HSV-2 is
    quite closely related. We have begun work to see if the lessons we have
    learned in HSV-1 also apply to HSV-2, and should know this by the end of
    the year. If these lessons do hold, then we might hope to start animal
    trials for an anti-HSV-2 drug in early 2009. However, our initial data
    indicate that HSV-1 and HSV-2 will require distinct drug therapies.

    6) What can I use to treat chronic HSV-1-induced cold sores or
    HSV-2-induced genital ulcers now?

    All treatment decisions should be made in consulation with your physician,
    and no general guidelines will apply to everybody. While there are no drugs
    that attack latent herpes viruses, three closely related prescription drugs
    (Zovirax/acyclovir; Famvir/famciclovir and Valtrex/valacyclovir) are potent
    inhibitors of active virus that work quite well and that you might discuss
    with your physician.

    We hope this information answers your questions and is helpful. Please be
    assured that we are continuing to work on the problem of developing novel
    HSV-1 and HSV-2 treatment approaches.


    Bryan R. Cullen
    Jennifer Lin Umbach"

    I will keep you updated on whether I am contacted by the person who is in charge of the funding, as I should be contacted soon.
  2. wondering333

    wondering333 No longer a member

    This stuff from Duke seems a while away. Three years till it even really starts I think. But it also seems the most promising as an actual cure.

    Has anyone heard any news since last year about it?

    Or does anyone know any way to help fund this?

    This doctor would instantly become my own personal hero if he suceeded in this.

    Please post if you know of any more recent info on this.
  3. wondering333

    wondering333 No longer a member

    Also if anyone heard back about how to donate?
  4. Flicken

    Flicken Active Member


    If we don't hear back from anyone on the forum, would you be willing to send a letter or email to duke to ask them about their progress and how to donate? I'd be willing to donate to them in addition the the UF (and Harvard, when I get some more cash flow).
  5. wondering333

    wondering333 No longer a member

    Yes. If we dont hear anything in a couple days, I will send them an email and post what I hear back.

    Six weeks ago, I had never even thought about herpes, now I would trade everything for a cure.

    Perspective sure does change things.

    I am shocked we aren't closer to a cure now.
  6. solvingtheproblem

    solvingtheproblem Active Member

    here is the Duke info...

    I wrote to Dr. Cullen (Duke), Dr. Knipe (Harvard) and Dr. Bloom (UF) -- just to ensure we had the correct/approved info for the donation choices motorcyclemaintenance generously posted on his site, www.herpesisnormal.com. I have heard back from all of them; here is the info I received from Duke just this past week:


    Brief Description of Research
    Herpes simplex viruses--both the oral (type 1) and genital (type 2) varieties--hide from the immune system and from current antiviral drugs by hiding in nerve cells in an inactive "latent" form. Researchers at Duke University are developing a novel approach that they believe will force the virus out of this latent state and allow it to be immediately killed by existing drugs.

    Links to Technical Research

    Point of Contact for the Research
    Christy Krupa
    Dept. of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
    Box 3025
    Durham, NC 27710

    How to Donate
    Making a gift to support Dr. Cullen’s research:

    Online: https://www.gifts.duke.edu/

    2/3 down the page there is a text box where you can type designation comments. In this box type: Professor Bryan Cullen account 391-1628. All gifts designated for this account must be credited to this account!

    Mail: Alumni and Development Records
    Duke University Box 90581
    Durham, NC 27708-0581
    Phone: (919) 684-2338
    Fax: (919) 684-8527

    In the memo line of the check, please write: Professor Bryan Cullen 391-1628.
  7. wondering333

    wondering333 No longer a member

    Thank you for the donation information.
    I just made a donation of 33 dollars to them.

    I will do so every month. More if I can.

    Is anyone keeping a tally of Duke donations?

    I fear our means are too small to make more than a symbolic gesture, but if enough of us donate to these schools, that gesture really will get us a cure sooner. And if someone has enough money, please consider larger dedicated donations to these schools HSV research programs.

    This Duke research is actually a cure, already for HSV 1, and soon after I assume HSV 2. It just needs the research to prove effective and safe. But I want to support it heavily because it is designed to be a cure (actually ridding the body of this hellspawned virus).
  8. Riseaboveit

    Riseaboveit Member

    Duke fund tally

    Hi Wondering 333:

    I don't think anyone is keeping a tally for Duke. Would you be interested in doing it? I started the tally for U of FLorida and someone else started one for Harvard.

    I wonder if we could put a Tally for all three in one spot. That would make it easy wouldn't it?

    Best regards.
  9. wondering333

    wondering333 No longer a member

    I think that would be a great idea.

    I am happy to start a thread for Duke, and then update it as people post to it, but maybe I should wait and we can get one going with numbers for all three.

    HITBYHSV Active Member

    I dont understand Dr. Cullen theory fully - how can it be assured that all virus will come out if the machanisme that makes it hide is taken out?

    if just one thread stays in the spine we are nowhere...

    Maybe somebody can explain how all virus is to come out in the open....
  11. wondering333

    wondering333 No longer a member

    I am definitely not a scientist, or even that scientifically minded, but my understanding is that it should force it ALL out of hiding then your body with the help of antiviral meds can kill it off. Assuming some is not forced out of hiding you would go through the process again several times until you got it all, or in worst case you would get most of it, be OB free for several years, then do it again if something slipped through.

    I think naturally the virus always wants to come out in the open, but some kind of protein forces it not to. The Duke method will get rid of or disable those proteins that make it hide. So if all of that protein can be disabled then all of the virus will come out.

    Maybe someone knows more about it than me though. I only know what I have read so far.
    Last edited: May 4, 2009
  12. junesucks

    junesucks Newbie

    Hello itscuretime and solvingtheproblem,

    Thank you for your posts, you have given me hope. Although Dr. Cullen's replies state that a cure is at least a few years away, there is definitely light at the end of this dark tunnel. It may be too much to ask but have either one of you thought of contacting celebrities for donations? I feel like you're my saving grace right now. I've had an extremely difficult weekend not because of myself but I saw a sore on my young son's lip yesterday and it broke my heart. He's always on me and kissing me and since I was diagnosed with HSV-2 two years ago, I never thought anything about giving my baby any kisses. I guess I was wrong. Recently I've had an outbreak on my leg and it freaked me out completely. I can pretty much deal with being infected but not my baby, not my heart. He does not deserve this because of one mistake that I made. He hasn't been to the doctor yet but I am sure that its herpes and I've had to keep myself from breaking down. I will be donating to Dr. Cullen's research on Tuesday morning and have also tried to set up a myspace page to raise awareness about the need for donations but I don't think I'm strong enough to continue with it. My apologies for rambling on but it's been a rough couple of days. Anyway, back to my original question, do you think contacting celebrities will help with donations? I know herpes is not something that they would be happy to speak about in public but if it assists in raising awareness and money, don't you think its worth a shot?

    Again, thank you for all your posts!
  13. carameldiva

    carameldiva Active Member

    Hi JuneSucks,
    Dont despair we are in this together. Have faith in God. He will helps us get better
  14. ntdc

    ntdc Well-Known Member

    Dont be so hard on yourself, you probably did not give your child herpes. take him to a doctor to get it swabbed if you are concerned, however kids are pretty susceptible to HSV-1 infection cause of playing with other kids and putting things in their mouth. If you have genital herpes, its pretty unlikely you transmitted it to your sons MOUTH
  15. unlucky30

    unlucky30 Active Member

    I recently had the pleasure of speaking with dr cullen this week. He basically told me that the research timeline of 2-3 years for the people clinical trials are dependent on funding which he needs for the toxicology studies. And if all goes well with the progress following the toxicology studies. He said that he would like to put up a website to interact with the community to keep people in the loop about the research progress. Let's hope he gets adequate funding so we can hopefully get rid of hsv.
  16. redyellowpurpleblue

    redyellowpurpleblue Active Member


    hey. this sounds the most promising research out there to be honest. can it really kill off the WHOLE virus?

    how did you speak to him unlucky? if it is a cure then we can't let it go to waste due to funding.

    this guy could well earn himself the noble prize if he can cure this oldest known human virus.

    how can i help out with a donation via paypal? i dont live in the US nor do i have a credit card.

    please reply. thank you
  17. ntdc

    ntdc Well-Known Member

    Did you direct him to post at this forum? I know Bill Halford had made some postings on the HHP forum in the past. We'd certainly love to hear from him.
  18. ntdc

    ntdc Well-Known Member

    You can send a check in the mail, I assume international money order would probably work too.

    Alumni and Development Records
    Duke University Box 90581
    Durham, NC 27708-0581
    Phone: (919) 684-2338
    Fax: (919) 684-8527

    In the memo line of the check, please write: Professor Bryan Cullen 391-1628.
  19. redyellowpurpleblue

    redyellowpurpleblue Active Member

    yes i would love to hear him on this forum very very much too.

    i wiki'd international money order and its like trying to decifer hyroglyphics. i am young and naive and in too much pain to get to the bank and unfortunately lost my internet banking stuff if i ever had one. not trying to be a pain, but paypal method of donation would be a very accesible and discreet addition. pleazy

    when was the last posts on this stuff? anyone still in touch with him? i think i emailed him a while ago but just got some confusing and unrelated , probably auto-mated reply from a secretary maybe.

    how and when did you speak to him unlucky? :-)
  20. unlucky30

    unlucky30 Active Member

    I encouraged him to do so. he is in the process of setting up his own website so that the public can be kept informed regarding this very promising research.
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