You’ve got to hand it to the PR folks at Aethlon Medical. Every time I come across one of the company’s press releases I think I’ve stumbled upon the holy grail of medicine – the solution from which all cures will come. The company’s Hemopurifier separates and captures infectious viruses and toxins from circulating blood. The device, which resembles a modified kidney dialysis cartridge, is designed to exploit the pre-existing global infrastructure of dialysis machines present in hospitals and clinics. With the Hemopurifier, the company has:
- Studied the effectiveness of HIV treatment
- Reversed immune suppression in cancer patients
- Been developing a system to clear Avian Flu from a patient’s blood
- Partnered with Delcath to jointly develop a filtration cartridge designed to isolate and deliver high doses of anti-cancer agents to specific organs
- Announced it will initiate studies to test Hemopurifier’s ability to capture West Nile virus
- Released Smallpox related research
“[Aethlon] has suffered continuing losses from operations, is in default on certain debt, has negative working capital of approximately $7,260,000 recurring losses from operations and a deficit accumulated during the development stage of approximately $28,087,000 at March 31, 2007, which among other matters, raises substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern. A significant amount of additional capital will be necessary to advance the development of the Company's products to the point at which they may become commercially viable.”And today, the company announced today that it has exercised an option to exclusively license a pending patent entitled "Method to Inhibit Proliferation and Growth of Metastases" from The Trustees of Boston University. While the license looks promising (the resulting devices would inhibit tumor growth by reducing the presence of circulating growth factors without interfering with surgical wound healing or the recovery of tissue injured by radiation therapy) I’d rather see the company execute on its existing pipeline. Aethlon has generated an operating loss of $2+ million for each of the last three years, surprising given the extent of the R&D. The company has a $16 million market cap.