Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ampligen Sunk

The FDA announced on December 1, 2009 that Ampligen would not be approved at this time. They asked for new trial - larger, more expensive trials. This was a shocker. The FDA erected a very high bar for the dysfunctional folks at Hemispherx. Hemispherx will not get their feet off the ground this time. Ampligen is finished.

There is intention here - laser-like intention. The FDA does not want any acknowledgement that CFS might be a neuro-immune disorder - or a physiologial disorder of any kind. They are constitutionally allergic to any association with a physical illness. It is now painfully obvious that the FDA and the CDC will do anything within their power to disconnect any sense of "reason" from this illness. This is bad news for the sufferers of this disease.

Hemispherx is complicit in this absurd dance with the FDA, but it looks like it was all pre-ordained, no matter. Over the years Hemispherx has demonstrated an extremely poor ability to relate to any government agency - and this probably extends to anyone or anything. They have set themselves up for a whipping.

Still it is hard for me to believe this decision. It puts a beating on the entire CFS community. I was convinced that the present circumstance conspired in such a way that the FDA would have to approve Ampligen -or at least give it conditional approval. An objective analysis of the situation would lean towards this drug being approved, or partially approved.

How do I know that the FDA has gone out of their way to sandbag Ampligen and all those who might benefit from it? First is that the FDA is not as prissy as they make themselves out to be. They approve many insufficient and half-baked drugs and appliances, including some that are frighteningly dangerous. In such instances strict guidelines are set up. Second, there response is disingenuous and not believable. If what the FDA says about Hemispherx' trials is true, the FDA could have rejected Ampligen five minutes after the NDA was filed. There was no reason for the long delays - from Feb 24 to May 24 to whatever. They obviously waited until the announcement would do the most damage to the momentum of current CFS/ME research. The FDA wants to poison the air - and this has been successful in doing this. This announcement is a real downer.

Everyone knows that Ampligen is not the answer; everyone knows that it is not the silver bullet. But it might have been part of the answer. Efforts are ongoing to identify those patients who might benefit from Ampligen. Now we don't have to worry about that. It has been taken off the table as the only drug designed for CFS. Its rejection will go a long way towards other drug companies refraining from developing similar or new drugs to deal with this neuro-immune disease. The die is cast and nothing will ever be approved for CFS.

What does this tell us? It tells us to shy away from the U.S. government and their help. Change might be on the way, but it is not in CFS government research or sponsorship. It tells us that the only way forward is through private initiative and through doing what we can to support such efforts. It will be interesting to see if the CDC can derail the WPI efforts. Take notice: they are going to try.