Recombinomics Inc. Urges Release of H5N1 Human Sequences From the World Health Organization's (WHO) Private Database

May 19, 2006, 01:00 ET from Recombinomics, Inc.

    PITTSBURGH, May 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Recombinomics calls for the release
 of the human H5N1 bird flu sequences from Indonesian victims held at the
 World Health Organization (WHO) private database. A review of the recent
 outbreak of human H5N1 cases in Kubuh Sembilang, Indonesia was the most
 fatal H5N1 familial cluster reported to date. Seven family members were
 infected with H5N1, and six infections were fatal. The cluster had a
 typical bimodal distribution, signaling human-to-human transmission from
 the index case who developed symptoms on April 27, 2006 to family members
 who developed symptoms in early May. Although there is no reported evidence
 of spread beyond these family members, the fatal infection of six family
 members raises concerns that the H5N1 genome has changed.
     At this time, sequences from only one H5N1 patient in Indonesia have
 been made public. This isolate has been selected for development of a new
 pandemic vaccine in the United States. Although the sequence was deposited
 in the WHO private database on August 1, 2005, it was not made public until
 March 25, 2006. The sequence was related to Indonesian poultry sequences,
 but it had a novel cleavage site. The sequence shows evidence of extensive
 recombination, with polymorphisms from H5N1 isolates in Vietnam, Thailand,
 wild birds in China, and the Qinghai strain of H5N1.
     Although the novel cleavage site is not found in bird isolates in
 Indonesia, it is found in the WHO private database, where it is the
 dominant motif in Indonesian human isolates. The widespread detection of
 this novel cleavage site, RESRRKKR, in human isolates, and its absence in
 avian isolates, suggests the origin of the H5N1 infections in humans in
 Indonesia may not be avian.
     Release of these human sequences would provide clues on their origin,
 including the potential that H5N1 may have been transmitted via swine
 rather than birds. "Recombinomics has patent pending sequence analysis
 methods to trace origins of isolates as well as predict sequence changes.
 The sequences in Indonesia may trace back to swine," said Recombinomics
 president, Henry Niman, Ph.D. He continued, "H5N1 swine isolates in China
 have cleavage sites that are unique, but distinct from the Indonesian
 sequence. The release of the human Indonesian sequences, as well as the
 other influenza sequences in the private database would enhance tracing of
 origins as well as selection of future vaccine targets, which can be
 predicted from the H5N1 sequences in all eight gene segments."
     Selection of new vaccine targets is vital. H5N1 recombines frequently,
 leading to rapid evolution. Vaccines against future sequences are more
 effective than vaccines against sequences that have already emerged.
 Release of the sequestered sequences will improve selection of vaccine
 targets, and is essential for the control of the emerging genome.
     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
      Contact Information:
      Dr. Henry Niman
      Recombinomics, Inc.
      648 Field Club Road,
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15238
      Tel. 866.973.2662

SOURCE Recombinomics, Inc.