Fighting Infectious Disease
In conjunction with Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, a clinical trial is currently underway to study the efficacy of using Hylenex-assisted subcutaneous infusion in treating adults and children with moderate-to-severe dehydration (typically resulting from Cholera) in rural western Kenya. The trial has already proven to offer life-saving treatment to a number of individuals, particularly infants, in the region. The study’s lead researcher, Dr. Thomas Burke, recently prepared a manuscript for submission to a prestigious medical journal and was notified in August 2016 that the paper has been approved for publishing.
Project High Hopes is also working with Dr. Burke, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and World Health Organization (WHO) to address the alarming incidence of death resulting from post-partum hemorrhage (PPH). More than 2,000,000 women in rural and impoverished settings bleed to death each year after suffering a tear in the uterus following childbirth. Dr. Burke has developed a technique to stop PPH by inserting a condom into the uterus and filling it with water to create a water “balloon.” This device applies pressure to the tear to suppress and halt bleeding. Brilliant in its simplicity and extremely low cost, this procedure offers a viable solution. Project High Hopes has engaged in partnership with Dr. Burke to identify major foundation donors to support the production of small kits (including condoms, tubing, cleansing products and instructions translated into Spanish) for distribution to more than 150,000 mid-wives and other health care providers throughout Latin America.
Finally, Project High Hopes is supporting research at Yale which is addressing the need for virulence-targeted antibodies in treating bacterial infections no longer effectively halted by traditional antibiotics. Dramatic results have been produced demonstrating that genetically engineered viruses may defeat bacteria which are otherwise resistant to antibiotics. This therapy may lead to striking new approaches to treating diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis. Dr. Turner and Dr. Chan’s work on combined approaches to using phage therapy and traditional antibiotics in targeting MDR bacterial pathogens was recently published in Scientific Reports.