by Marc Robins CFA
Nothing confounds me more than the fact that our collective society (and government) is (are) more worried about “Climate Change”, “global warming”, or “Climate Disruption” that may occur some 25 to 50 years out in the future (and the operative word is “may”), while zoonotic viral diseases are killing mankind right now!
Not heard about this scourge that threatens the very existence of our society?! Oh, yes you have! When I mention Bird flu, swine flu, or H5N1 Avian flu; you get it. These diseases are infections that have been somehow transferred from animals to humans. But then you think, ‘Well, that’s not so bad. It’s just the flu….. We’ll get over it.’
Au Contraire! Ever heard of Monkey Pox, Dengue Fever or Zika? Have I got your attention yet?
How about my mentioning of HIV, Ebola or Spanish flu. You should be one paragraph away from being scared witless.
Yes Martha, Television programs and movies like The Andromeda Strain, The Last Ship and World War “Z” have a real basis in fact. What I mean to say is with every passing year (tropical rainy season to be more accurate) there is an increasing threat of some kind of mutating viral disease about to be passed from a sick and dying animal to a human host. Juxtaposed to the threat, the ever increasing encroachment of humans into tropical forested and jungles increases likelihood of humans catching some disease and the availability of inexpensive and available air travel gives rise to quicker and broader spread of these diseases.
In a new book called Pandemic by Sonia Shaw, the author cites a study in which, “90% of epidemiologists believe a global pandemic will sicken one billion and kill up to 165 million within the next two generations.” This event would make the Spanish flu of 1918, which killed 20 to 30 million, look like a dry rehearsal by comparison. In the meantime, we’ll have to buck-up against simple outbreaks of Ebola or Zika that kills or maims merely tens of thousands.
Now, this is a column about small, equity investments. So, it has to be an upbeat story and not one to cause national panic. Well, there is a very real and “un”qualified medical answer to new, possibly pandemic problems. The FDA is very aware of this medical device. DARPA is financing research and production of a treatment variant to specifically combat sepsis (or blood poisoning) in battle-wounded warriors’ right at the MASH unit. Hospitals overseas have used the device to treat, and often successfully cure HIV, Hepatitis C and Ebola.
What is this treatment? The company is called Aethlon Medical, Inc., (NASDAQ: AEMD-$5.60) and their remarkable device is called the Hemopurifier. It tackles viral infections in a wholly different manner than vaccines. In a medical setting, the professional runs a sick patient’s blood through the “HP”, much like dialysis patients having their blood cleared of chemical contaminants. But this device actually subtracts-out viral germs and their sub-particles from the blood based not on size or molecular charge—like most filtrations procedures, but on the complex sugar structure that cloaks all human viruses. Two important items: a) All viruses that infect human, to date, have exterior structures made of this similar material; and b) The HP appears to only remove “bad things” from the blood—not good particles, has no side-effects and does not add the potential of drug toxicity or drug-drug interactions, and when used on very ill patients seems not to have any detrimental effect.
It is very risky to discuss a medical company that has not cleared all the FDA hurdles necessary to make a treatment available in the USA. The device has been successfully used in over 200 patient treatments and the following list of uses shows the broad therapeutic applicability and potency of the HP
And, did you notice that the Hemopurifier was used successfully on an Ebola patient? Yes, in December of 2014, Dr. Mawanda, a physician treating ill patients in Africa, caught the disease, was so ill that several organs shut down, he was on respiratory assistance and in a coma. He was treated in Germany once with the HP, for 6½ hours to remove the germs. The therapy was so effective the patient’s own immune system kicked in and he returned home a weeks later.
Aethlon in currently running the Hemopurifier through a “safety study” in one of the major Da Vita dialysis centers in Houston. They are testing it on End State Renal Disease patients that also have Hepatitis C to both examine any potential harm that the device might inflect on patients as well as to measure its ability to remove HepC germs from very ill dialysis patients. This 10-patients trial mimics the similar trial performed in India about three years ago where it produced some exceptional, therapeutic results.
The stock is at the low end of its 18 month range and has all the characteristics needed to be a “10-bagger” stock. During the furor of the Ebola outbreak, the shares zoomed to $35 (share adjusted) but it now is down almost 85%. On one hand, the Company’s balance sheet is puny and weak. But on the other hand, DARPA just re-jiggered research monies to help fund HP production stream-lining and quality control standards for the manufacture of the device.
Mr. Robins consulted with Aethlon for three years ending December, 2014. At this time, he has no financial connections with the Company but Robins and all members of his family own shares and may buy or sell shares at any time in the market for portfolio management purposes.