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Sudhir Paul, Ph.D. UpDate

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is the difference between abzymes and antibodies?
the Achilles heel of HIV was not the abzymes?
I do not understand this research.




An abzyme is a certain type of antibody called a catalytic antibody. they have the potential to detoxify a drug in the blood stream (like cocaine), destroy a virus, or target tumor cells. They have the potential to be programmed to go after a certain target and destroy it. For HIV, the ideal target would be that portion of the virus that doesn't mutate:

The Achilles Heal that Dr. Sudhir Paul is talking about is a region on the virus that does not mutate. It is located on the gp120 protein and consists of a tiny stretch of amino acids numbered 421-433. See:

So you are correct to say that the Achilles Heal is NOT the abzyme. The abzyme, if effective, has the potential to cure HIV. The abzymes should be able to be programmed to go after any target as long as that target is non-mutatable.


There's now a grassroots group called the Covalent Immunology Foundation, hosting a  fundraiser as well as making a flashy PSA in order to raise money for this.

Can This Man Cure AIDS?
Sudhir Paul's research could be revolutionary—or it could be a waste of time and resources. Why a group of nonscientists has decided to bet on his out-there ideas.

Last summer, while watching a news program about a possible AIDS vaccine, Zach Barnett had a "Eureka!" moment. The show was describing a Texas scientist's unorthodox approach to vaccine-making, a strategy that involved superantigens and covalent bonds and a lot of other words that weren't in Barnett's vocabulary. That didn't matter; the science turned him on anyway. "It was just so cool," he says. "I was like, 'lightbulb!' "

For years, Barnett, a fashion publicist, had been trying to get involved in AIDS activism, but mainstream organizations had told him there wasn't much for him to do, save passing out brochures. "That was a waste of my talent," he says. Here he saw a use for his skills. He wrote to the scientist, Dr. Sudhir Paul of the University of Texas, to tell him that "if what he was saying was true, he was doing a bad job of publicizing it." To show he was serious, he offered Paul $50 out of his own pocket to support the research.

Continued . . .


They're trying to raise money by getting LOTS of people to donate $5. each which could work as far as fundraising, most of the donations to the Obama campaign were small and added up. Although I suspect it's mainly to generate publicity so that private donors with big bucks can come in ("Hello, David Geffen?")


The striking part of the Newsweek article, in my opinion, is this:

"The final, and perhaps most daunting, problem with Paul's work is that so far, the only published research has been conducted in test tubes and mice. (Paul says he also has some promising data from rabbits, but it's unpublished.) The NIH has funded his work lavishly until recently, contributing almost $30 million, but now, just as he's getting ready to move to trials in monkeys, it's balking."

Why is that so? Is it because of jealousy from the established gurus of the field? Are they afraid of the fame Prof. Paul will get if the abzyme technology takes off and provides a cure? Are there other influences from the drug powerhouses? The whole story described in the paper requires a very careful analysis. Why hasn't the NIH continued to fund Prof. Paul, specially after having spent 30 million?

Something is fundamentally wrong in the research process in the US. For the billions of dollars invested in R&D the outcome is rather poor. And a good example is Prof. Paul's research. For a new approach that promises to eradicate the virus or at least provide a complete "functional cure", eliminating the problems all of us have with current meds, saving immediately billions of dollars every year, not spending a few million makes no sense to me. Unless there's something hidden! Many people talk about conspiracy theories, but it can  simply be the grant awarding process where in a small world of scientific research all personal animosities and jealousies surface and influence the decisions. Either way the whole process is flawed and is wonderful things happen at the basic research level, transitioning to clinical trials is another story. Geovax's story to start the therapeutical vaccine trial is another good example.

The abzyme approach is scientifically sound and of great promised. Only needs to be tested and perfected if required. It promises fewer side effects that conventional antibodies because of its catalytic nature. One abzyme can inactivate many virus! Because is seems to be powerful and targeted this treatment should be able to completely replace the toxic drugs!

We all must appreciate Prof. Paul for his achievements and the capacity to move things forward!! 


             I was so excited when I heard about Dr Paul's work, then so disappointed when he                 could not raise money to carry on his work.
              Is there no public money available for medical research in the US.
              Do the researchers have raise their own money


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