A human milk product for treatment of immune deficiency (hiv/aids)
"At the center of this invention, is the intent to solve the worldwide shortage of gamma globulin." patent #7914822
Presenting another Prolacta Bioscience patent, invented by Elena Medo dated this March 29, 2011. This patent is called, "Method of producing nutritional products from human milk tissue and compositions thereof."
Supposedly gamma globulin injections treat immune deficiency diseases, such as agammaglobulinemia, common variable immunodeficiency, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia, bone marrow transplant, and hiv/aids. Intravenous gamma globulin has been given to children with symptomatic hiv infection while receiving Zidovudine. Clinical trials through the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) were done for for hiv-infected children ages 3 months to 12 years of age who were receiving oral AZT with intravenous gamma globulin or placebo. The researchers believed that the rate of bacterial infection would be reduced in hiv-infected children given gamma globulin,an immunoglobulin derived from blood plasma proteins. I do not know what the outcome of this trial was but I can imagine that none of these children were breastfed because of US policy that has pushed infant formula feeding for infants diagnosed with hiv/aids. Thus, some of these children got injected with antibodies derived from blood plasma to combat bacterial infections. I look at that as rather scary situation in comparision with getting natural antibodies through breastfeeding. Injecting antibodies into the blood stream is not without some risk. But, yes this is science and research.
Now we have a company, Prolacta Bioscience, who would like to provide a more natural treatment for immune deficiency. Although it isn't breastfeeding but, "The present invention discloses a prophetic inclination, based upon a 15-year study of human milk, that a new form of gammaglobulin referred to here
in as 'panaglobulin,' 'mammaglobulin,' or 'lactopanaglobulin' may replace the current gamma globulin."
"Because higher levels of IgA and IgM are present in human milk and colostrums, and a more diverse form of IgG as well, panaglobulins may provide protection beyond the scope of current gamma globulin therapy."
One of the more interesting connections that I see between Prolacta's interest in providing gamma globulin from human milk is that many of the BOD of Prolacta as well as their executive management have worked at Baxter, a manufacturer of intravenous immune globulin (from blood plasma) among many other healthcare products. The CEO of Prolacta, Scott Elster worked for Baxter for 13 years in the plasma products area. Scott Eaker, VP, Quality, is also from Baxter, having worked with Baxter's first recombinant Factor VIII manufacturing facility. Joseph Fournell, VP, Operations for Prolacta, worked as a director of global logistics for Baxter. David Rechtman, Chief Medical Offider, also worked for Baxter responsible for prodcut safety. He helped start an AIDS care team at SUNY-Health Science Center at Brooklyn. John Bacich Jr., chairman of the Board of Prolacta was also employed by Baxter. So Medo's patent for Prolacta does not seem like some far-fetched inventor's dream.
I am curious about our so-called knowledge of immune deficiencies. We institute policy in which women who are hiv positive are not allowed to breastfeed their babies. Yet, we will create a product made from the human milk to treat those babies. What do we really know about building immunity? Is denial of breastfeeding circumventing health for these infants? What makes us believe that hiv/aids is transmitted through breastfeeding? Wouldn't proof of transmission through breastfeeding require that infants be exclusively breastfed? If given formula or foods or water, where is the proof that breastfeeding transmits this "virus?" None of the studies done on transmission back years ago defined breastfeeding. So now mothers will pay for a product to help her infant's immune system. And no one questions the original studies done on transmission through breastfeeding. No one questions the tragic twist of fate in which an infant will be denied breastfeeding but will need the milk of other mother's to build an immune system. I guess we can applaud the ingenuity of men in a capitalist system in which we can be convinced that the natural development of immunity must not happen and we can readily replace it with injections of products "donated" from other mothers.
Copyright 2011 Valerie W. McClain