Recombinomics, Inc. Urges Release of H5N1 Avian Flu Sequences from The World Health Organization's (WHO) Private Database

Mar 10, 2006, 00:00 ET from Recombinomics, Inc.

    PITTSBURGH, March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Recombinomics fully supports the
 appeal by Dr. Llaria Capua of the OIE/FAO Reference Laboratory for Avian
 Influenza at the Istituto Zooprofilattica Sperimentale delle Venezie in
 Padova, Italy to allow influenza researchers worldwide open access to H5N1
 sequences collected by the WHO.  Currently, most of the recently collected
 H5N1 gene sequences are sequestered in a private, WHO controlled database,
 which can only be accessed by 15 laboratories.  These sequences should be made
 available immediately to the general scientific community.  The sequences are
 essential in pandemic vaccine development and should be accessible to all.
     This week the United States government announced a new pandemic vaccine
 target, the H5N1 sequence from a patient in Indonesia.  Although available
 sequences indicate several pandemic vaccine targets would be desirable, the
 utility of the chosen sequence cannot be independently evaluated because none
 of the H5N1 sequences from human patients in Indonesia are publicly available.
 Similarly, no sequences from confirmed H5N1 positive human patients in Turkey,
 Iraq, and China are available outside of the private WHO database.
 Considering the hundreds of millions that will likely be spent in
 manufacturing a "new" vaccine against H5N1, additional research and analysis
 by the scientific community would be both warranted and potentially
     On February 28, 2006, researchers at the Beijing Genomics Institute
 released H5N1 sequences under the submission title "A cohort of AIV H5N1
 subtypes isolated from wild aquatic birds and domestic poultry revealed rapid
 transmission, frequent reassortment, and identifiable recombination."
 Recombinomics has released a series of commentaries detailing the examples of
 recombination in these newly released sequences, including single nucleotide
     These newly released public sequences provide compelling evidence of
 recombination in the H5N1 virus's evolution.  "Release of recent H5N1
 sequences is essential," said Recombinomics President, Henry L. Niman, Ph.D.
 "These sequences provide a roadmap of where H5N1 has been and where it is
 going.  They also can be used to predict new sequences of new strains of H5N1
 before they emerge.  These data are critical for effective vaccine
     Recombinomics has used the available public sequences to predict the
 acquisition of HA S227N in the Middle East in the fall of 2005.  The
 prediction was verified in sequences from the index case in Turkey.
 Similarly, Recombinomics has predicted the acquisition of G228S form H1N1 in
 swine in Europe this spring.  Both of these genetic changes increase the
 affinity of influenza for human receptors and increase the efficiency of H5N1
 transmission to humans.  These predications are dependent upon a full and
 current sequence database.  Through this patent pending approach,
 Recombinomics identifies novel gene targets for new vaccines, which in turn
 allows manufacturers to develop vaccines in advance of the emergence of new
 genetically altered, and potentially pandemic viral strains.
     About Recombinomics, Inc. -- The Company was founded by Dr. Henry Niman, a
 former Scripps Institute Assistant Member, based on his pioneering work in the
 area of viral evolution.   Dr. Niman's research identified recombination as
 the underlying mechanism driving rapid genetic change, allowing him to file a
 series of patents based on a deep understanding of this paradigm shifting
 process. Recombinomics is in the process of commercializing its patent-pending
 approach to significantly improve the standard vaccine development process.
 Recombinomics, through its analysis and commentary section of its website
 ( ), has been consistently ahead of both the
 scientific community and government agencies in anticipating the genetic
 evolution and geographic expansion of H5N1.
     Contact Information:
     Dr. Henry Niman
     Recombinomics, Inc.
     648 Field Club Road,
     Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15238
     Tel. 866.973.2662

SOURCE Recombinomics, Inc.