MIT biological researcher Todd Rider stands on the verge of revolutionizing virus treatment. However, the discovery – named DRACO – is developing slowly due to a funding shortage, despite the researcher’s attempts to finance continued development with crowdfunding campaigns. DRACO is an acronym for Double-stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizer. Rider has worked on this project for a decade and a half. The pursuit is too expensive for institutional funding, but not yet credible enough for big pharmaceutical companies. To date, DRACO supporters continue to fund the project with limited success.
Rider discovery began with his desire to develop one vaccine for all viruses, compared to the relatively few available virus remedies and their limited curative abilities. To infect cells, viruses must introduce themselves to healthy cells and in doing so add an extra DNA strand. He wanted to imitate how the body defends itself against viruses by destroying cells with double-stranded DNA. Rider’s drug detects the extra strand and, in essence, instructs the cell to self-destruct. Because normal cells only contain one DNA strand, the drug does not affect healthy cells. Based on this concept, he designed DRACO to mimic this process believes that his invention will transform modern virus treatment. Vaccines have trouble mitigating or curing illnesses caused by current viruses, such as:
• Avian and Swine Influenza
Current vaccines cure solitary viruses, while Rider’s discovery can serve as a universal cure-all that minimally affects patients. The researcher’s discovery may also serve as an antidote for weaponized viruses. While these are hypothetical possibilities, DRACO supporters are enthusiastic about the drug’s development. However, this enthusiasm is not enough to convince commercial backers to pursue engineering the drug.
The doctor has proved that DRACO is effective when administered to mice in mist form. His next goal is to prove the drug in pill form. DRACO supporters gave Rider the idea to turn to crowdfunding to finance his ongoing research. The researcher expresses his gratitude to the individuals that have supported his research financially and emotionally. Despite these good intentions, to date crowdfunding has not raised enough capital to bring the product to market, but it has allowed Rider to continue research. In the meantime, the engineer continues to seek other funding sources.
Funding from the National Institutes of Health permitted Rider to conduct initial studies, but only commercial pharmaceutical companies can provide the financing necessary to carry the new drug through the FDA approval process. However, these companies want drugs proven to work with medically significant illnesses. Currently, Rider has not performed successful trials on viruses that present a significant health threat. His discovery should work on any virus, but the scientist must prove this in the laboratory. Therefore, he needs more funding to polish his formula and provide proof that DRACO works for illnesses that generate interest among large drug companies.
Before long, Rider plans to test DRACO on clinically significant illnesses in the lab, then move on to human testing. When this happens is largely dependent on how much funding he can raise and how his research progress moving forward. Ultimately, he hopes to begin human trials in ten years or less.
Rider proclaims that he can cure all viruses – with the requisite funding. The scientist believes that DRACO can also stop common cold and flu symptoms days earlier than conventional treatments and is likely to succeed with his invention that has received support from the scientific community since its inception.