DRACO: Death to the Virus

by  —  November 17, 2011

In a paper published 27 July [1], researchers from MIT reported successful tests in mice with a new drug that holds the promise of being a cure to all viruses. The drug, DRACO (Double-stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizer), works as a “broad-spectrum” antiviral, killing virus-hijacked cells by targeting double-stranded RNA produced in the viral replication process. DRACO proved successful against all 15 viruses tested “including rhinoviruses that cause the common cold, H1N1 influenza, a stomach virus, a polio virus, dengue fever and several other types of hemorrhagic fever.” [2]

We may expect results from cell trials against AIDS within the next 12 months.

DRACO is but one broad-spectrum therapeutic being developed as part of a project called PANACEA (Pharmacological Augmentation of Nonspecific Anti-pathogen Cellular Enzymes and Activities) headed by Dr. Todd Rider, senior staff scientist in MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s Chemical, Biological, and Nanoscale Technologies Group.

I met with Dr. Rider in the food court of the MIT co-op bookstore early on a weekday. He had already finished tending to his mice and, after we chatted, he rose to declare that he was off to do “real work”… writing grant proposals to keep his research alive.


Could you give us a broad overview of the Panacea project?

Sure. We’ve come up with a broad-spectrum antiviral that we call DRACO, Double-stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizer (I love acronyms), and it’s basically designed to detect any long double stranded RNA, so we’ve created chimeric proteins where one end will detect the chimeric RNA — the double-stranded RNA — and then the other end will trigger apoptosis, or cell suicide. So the net effect is that these DRACO molecules can go inside all the cells in your body, or at this moment, inside all the cells in a mouse, and if they don’t find anything, then they don’t do anything. But if they find a viral infection, if they find a viral double-stranded RNA, then that will activate the back ends to trigger cell suicide, and that will kill the infected cell. That terminates the infection.

So there wouldn’t be a difference between DNA Viruses and RNA Viruses?

It works with both. We’ve tested it on both. All known viruses make double-stranded RNA, and that’s true from the literature and also true from our experiments. So here (indicating illustration) the viruses we tested included a couple DNA viruses, and it worked quite nicely against those. Others in the literature are also known to make quite a bit of double-stranded RNA. Other DNA viruses, like pox viruses and herpes viruses, also make double-stranded RNA.

Has it been tested on each family of virus?

It’s been tested on these families of viruses so far (indicating paper). There are a gazillion viruses, so we’re working our way through them as quickly as we can. It’s been tested on several very different families so far.

My understanding is that viruses usually kill the cell anyway, but retroviruses usually do not. I don’t know how viruses cluster. Are there any odds at all that there would be a retrovirus that clusters too tightly in a certain organ where it [triggered cell death by DRACO] would cause a lesion?

Virtually all viruses will kill the host cell on the way out. Of the hand-full that don’t, your own immune system will try to kill those infected cells. So we’re really not killing any more cells with our appraoch than we already have been. It’s just that we’re killing them at an early enough stage before they infect and ultimately kill more cells. So if anything this limits the amount of cell death.

So that’s not really a legitimate fear.

It shouldn’t be.

How far along are you and how far away are you from human trials?

Unfortunately quite a long way. We’ve done a number of tests in mice. We need to do more testing in mice. Of course, MIT is not a pharmaceutical company. There’s only so far we can take it at MIT. We’re hoping to license it to some pharmaceutical company, and they would carry to larger-scale animal trials. Usually the FDA wants to see a lot of mouse trials, which we’ve done already; and then a lot of trials in, say, rabbits or guinea pigs, and then trials in monkeys before they approve human trials. So, if a licensee takes this, if we have funding for it, it still might take a decade or so before it really is available for humans.

So how’s the funding working now?

We have funding from NIH [National Institutes of Health].

And can you take it up to monkey here [at MIT]?

We may be able to take it into further animal models here, but mice are the easiest thing to use. We have a lot of mice. We’re also limited by funding. We only haved NIH funding at the moment, and we only have enough funding for about 1 person, and we have 4 people total, counting me, working at the moment, so we’ve split the funding four different ways…

Has anybody reached out to you?

Nope. Not so far.

When I first read about this I thought this was an amazing story, that this would be front-page news in a couple of hours. Weeks later, I was thinking this must not have been a true story. That’s when I looked it up again and saw that it was indeed on the MIT site. What’s the relative lack of interest. There haved been articles, but I feel this is definitely front-page material.

Well thank you. On the funding front, I think there’s a ton of funding for very basic research — not applied research, trying to cure something, but basic research — Let’s go study this virus, see how this virus works in a little more detail. There’s a ton of NIH funding for that. On the applied front, if you are ready for human trials — so you’re 10 years more advanced than we are now — then there are government agencies and companies that will take it and take it to that final step. But in that long gap in between there’s very very little funding out there. So we’ve been struggling for all of 11 years now just working to get funding, and at the moment we’re just barely limping along.

This is a subset of PANACEA, right? Can you describe PANACEA?

PANACEA is a family of broad-spectrum anti-pathogen treatments. We’ve tested some others, we’ve tried to get funding for others. This [DRACO] is the one that is furthest along.

What are some of the others that look promising?

We have a number of others. [DRACO] is a broad-spectrum antiviral. We have other broad-spectrum antivirals. We also have other PANACEA treatments that we’ve adapted to go after other things. Like for bacteria. And of course there are antibiotics, but for bacteria that are resistant to existing antibiotics, such as tuberculosis, malaria… so we can adapt this to pathogens other than viruses. We’ve done some initial experiments, we just can’t get funding for that so far.

Do you foresee any potential wild-cards in the human trials?

It’s always difficult to tell what will happen. I hope that there won’t be. We’re always concerned that there will be some toxicity or other unforeseen problems. We’ve been very pleased every step of the way in the cell testing. We’ve tested in a number of different human cell types representing many different organs; human lung cells, human liver cells, all kinds of different human cells, as well as a variety of animal cells. We haven’t seen any toxicity or any other strange effects in any of those cell types. In the mice we were again very concerned about toxicity, and we haven’t seen any toxicity in the mice. We inject the mice with very high doses of the stuff daily for a number of days, and they seem fine. We let them move for a while, eventually we dissected them, looked at the tissues. All the tissues were fine, there’s no organ damage or anything. It’s always possible something unexpected could come up further down the road in monkies or in humans. We certainly hope not. But I think there is enough flexibility in the concept that even if there were a problem, there are ways to redesign the constructs that we have to overcome any potential problems.

That might also speak to the production cost. Is it fairly low production cost if, say, it was to be mass-produced in the future?

These are produced in bacteria, and at the moment I really don’t know what the ultimate production cost would be. We produce on a very small scale, barely enough for our mice. Of course cells eat a lot less DRACO than mice do. So if we’re producing for cells, that’s a very small quantity, but just a few flasks of bacteria will produce enough to last us for a while. But once you scale this up to a large-scale production large-scale animal trials or human trials, hopefully the cost would go down. I don’t know exactly what the cost would be.

Do you envision the final end-plan to be people with DRACO in their medicine cabinet, or more like penicillin today?

If it’s safe I’d like to see it used as much as possible for as many different things as possible. I would guess that if it were approved for human use by the FDA, initially they would be conservative enough that they would only want to see it used in very dire cases, just in case there are interesting side-effects or something, and it’s only to people with ebola or HIV that’s become resistant to other drugs who would get this. If this proved to be safe in those cases, then I would hope that they’d approve it for wider use against more common pathogens, perhaps all the way down to the common cold. And if it really is safe, then maybe you’d just pop a DRACO pill any time you felt a cold coming on.

How long does it stay in the system? It’s obviously not a vaccine —

Right. In cells it lasts at least for a couple of weeks, possibly longer. In the mice it lasts for at least 2 days. We have a lot of data in the paper showing it will persist in mice for at least 48 hours at fairly high doses in the tissues. This is really about trying to optimize that. There are a lot of tricks we can use to try to make it last longer if necessary. And if this stuff is truly completely safe, then you can give it prophylactically. You could even concievably give someone the gene for the DRACO so that their cells would just permanently produce the DRACO, and they would naturally be resistant to almost everything.

Oh, wow. That’s an amazing idea.


I feel like this is something that should be fast-tracked. We have all this planning in regards to epidemics. There is all kinds of scare that we’re ripe for an epidemic.

Perhaps we will be [approached with funding offers] in the future, but so far we haven’t been. We’ve really struggled along for the past 11 years, barely getting enough funding to stay alive.

So this has been on the table, at least as an idea, for 11 years?

Right. We just got good data from the mouse trials and published that, but 11 years ago we started engineering the DRACOs. Genetic engineering was a bit more primative in those days, so it took us a while to actually produce these things. Then it took us a while to produce and test them in cells. We ultimately tested against 15 different viruses in cells. As I said, we were kind of limping along for funding for much of that time, so we could only work on it when we had funding to work on it. For some fraction of our time, we had funding to work on it. Eventually, we were able to test against the 15 different viruses in cells in 11 different cell types. And then we had funding to do some mouse trials, got data, and then we got published.

If you get a cold this winter… are you going to be tempted?

I’m not tempted by colds. I’ve had very bad stomach viruses and I’ve been tempted to give myself the stuff to see what would happen.

You don’t think you’ll do that, though?

It wouldn’t be enough anyway. We only produce enough for mice, and for a human you require a much larger dose than for a 20 gram mouse.


  1. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0022572
  2. http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/antiviral-0810.html

Marked as: ScienceTechnology  —  197 comments   (RSS)

197 Comments so far
  1. CogitoErgoBibo November 20, 2011 12:06 pm

    Thank you very much for following up on this landmark work. I think we would all be served well if we can get this viral (no pun intended) on the net and I intend to look into some method to get non-corporate funding to help them. I’ve never tried, but this is that important in my opinion.

    I am self-taught in the bio sciences starting on Immunology last year. It has been demonstrated widely that protein function is modular. That is parts of proteins (domains) having a particular function can be “inserted” into other proteins to add function and, further, completely new proteins can be generated. This discovery has led to many innovations and great potential for medicine.

    Past this, there are astronomical numbers of untried amino acid sequences. Even if we consider a small proteins of 100 amino acids in lenght, there are more sequence combinations than there are atoms in the universe. Nature only selects for what is immediately necessary, now, our protein engineers with a process called Directed Evolution, we can select for sequences that can save lives and improve life in general for everyone.

    I started writing on what I learn and I have even found a research path of my own. I use a blog as a repository, if its appropriate I’ll comment again with the link. (I didn’t want this message to be seen as spam)

  2. doug November 20, 2011 6:14 pm

    @CogitoErgoBibo —

    Thank you. Feel free to post your links, I’m curious to see what you’re working on.

    Thanks –


  3. CogitoErgoBibo November 20, 2011 7:06 pm

    Thanks Doug.

    A quick leadup… While watching Immunology webcasts from the NIH, I came across Dr. Carl June speaking about Chimeric Antigen Receptors and, specifically, about his clinical trial during which 2 chemorefractory patients with CML achieved a complete response in 30 days (cancer free).

    At the time, I started thinking about how we could get around the major limitation of his landmark work, but given that I am self-taught and all of it was new to me it took a few weeks… Anyway, I developed an idea and sent it to one or two people in the field just in case it might spark an idea in them… they encouraged me to continue. So, a few months and a few hundred pages of research later…


    Thank you again for your attention to DRACO and your interest in my efforts.

  4. CogitoErgoBibo November 21, 2011 6:41 pm

    I’ve been posting the link to this post everywhere I can think of… even sent it to my Congressman. I am putting together a plan as this is something I have to at least try to remedy.

  5. CogitoErgoBibo March 18, 2012 5:28 pm

    Updates on two fronts… I did get a letter back from Rush Holt, my congressman, and he said he would “advocate for higher levels of funding for this important priority”, but of course it could have just applied to “medical research” which was the subject of the previous sentence.

    On my research, an article I co-authored with a prof from the University of New Haven was published here http://journal.dnapress.com/ and I was interviewed by their Personalized Medicine TV site here: http://blog.readingthinkingandwriting.com/?p=411

  6. jhaukur March 29, 2012 11:26 am

    Here is an idea.

    Use Kickstarter for funding!


    Game development companies have been raking in a couple of million dollars through kickstarter,

    but a cure for all viruses?

    I’d donate, so would others.

  7. Nunsuch0 March 29, 2012 1:59 pm

    There’s now a new petition to White House to fund the further development of this potentially momentous drug:


  8. Ycros March 29, 2012 2:06 pm

    I agree with the Kickstarter comment, I would happily throw in some money if something like this was setup.

  9. doug March 29, 2012 3:07 pm

    It would certainly be interesting to see how much grass-roots funding could be generated. Unfortunately, Kickstarter has policies which exclude projects like Draco research. They reject anything involving “drugs”, and while it could be argued that they are referring to illegal narcotics, they also exclude “Health, medical, and safety-related products”. Let me contact Dr. Rider for an update on the current state-of-affairs and I’ll tell him about the interest being generated in a grass-roots fund. I’d love to help set something up…

  10. Ycros March 29, 2012 3:12 pm

    What about Indiegogo or others?

  11. doug March 29, 2012 4:51 pm

    I’ll take a look at it. Maybe we’ll be able to set up something more directly still….

  12. Nunsuch0 March 29, 2012 6:15 pm

    I’ll be watching this page for any updates on direct funding… Though, I don’t know what are the MIT policies on donations – is it possible to fund a certain project directly, or would it have to go into communal pot. Anyone knows?

  13. CogitoErgoBibo March 29, 2012 6:28 pm

    Thank you Doug for providing the knowledge and the forum for getting the eyes of smart people on what I think is a critical piece of research.

    I have spoken to a friend in IT Venture Capital about starting up a NFP to channel funding for Dr. Rider’s work. I also asked about investigating patent acquisition if that’s possible. The pipedream, of course, would be to add revenue into the funding stream, then look for other research opportunities proactively rather than reviewing grant proposals as is customary.

    I’d be happy to help in any efforts to get this work funded.


  14. CogitoErgoBibo March 29, 2012 6:29 pm


    I’ll call Lincoln Lab tomorrow and post what I learn here…


  15. dennyluan March 29, 2012 11:23 pm

    I’ve contacted the supporting authors of the original PloS paper directly. I figured it would be better to contact the ones doing the actual research first to get a better feel for what’s going on.

    I am one of the co-founders of Microryza.


    And this is precisely the kind of project we are looking to host.

    It seems that there are now a number of options for continuing the work and providing new funding. However, if none of them work out, I would love to explore the option of hosting it on Microryza. If only to help out fellow researchers. I did research in miRNA systems for 8 months at the University of Washington, and seeing this is truly exciting.

    Doug – if you’d like to contact me, feel free to shout at denny@microryza.com.

  16. gwillen March 30, 2012 12:01 am

    What about http://www.petridish.org/ ? Isn’t this kind of thing exactly what that’s for? I would gladly give money if there were a way for me to do so.

  17. doug March 30, 2012 9:11 am

    Thank you all — I have emailed Dr. Rider to talk funding options. I will update you as soon as he replies. Promise!

  18. CogitoErgoBibo March 30, 2012 5:48 pm

    Doug, I will defer to you then to present the information from Dr. Rider.

  19. Nunsuch0 April 1, 2012 2:51 pm

    CogitoErgoBibo (great handle, by the way :-) ), Doug, dennyluan, this is great news! Please keep us posted on developments – while I can’t offer much financial help (but will be happy to add to any public funding pot that might pop up), I’m pretty good at spreading the word if needed.

  20. CogitoErgoBibo April 1, 2012 3:19 pm


    Thank you 😉

    Please, spread the word by passing along the link to this invaluable post Doug has written. We can use it as a center until we have something established. Perhaps we can start a NFP and put up a web site. Please post if there is interest as I would be happy to help in either or both.


  21. RohanSJ April 8, 2012 8:21 pm

    This may be the most stunning line of research I’ve ever read about. I was initially equally stunned by the lack of proper funding, but then I realized that I’ve seen similar things before: it seems to me that the broader the potential benefit of something, the harder it is to get others to support it. A niche application can appeal to organizations or organizational units that have a particular interest in that niche and would be interested in something better than what already exists, while in a highly specialized world anything broad doesn’t have clear “customers”. So I wonder whether funding might be more easily obtained by positioning DRACO as “just” an HIV cure, or “just” a herpes cure – perhaps whatever has the greatest commercial potential.

  22. CogitoErgoBibo April 9, 2012 8:13 am

    Hello RohanSJ

    “perhaps whatever has the greatest commercial potential”

    Of course, your assertion accurately fits the appearent reality, but if it is reality, then we have a larger issue to address. I just finished a great book entitled “A Second Opinion” by Dr. Relman (former editor of the NE Journal of Medicine) where he lays out cogent plans for healthcare but also makes the point that it used to be about just that, healthcare, not profit. That is not to say doctors/researchers/nurses shouldn’t make a comfortable living, but it can’t be that they practice medicine because they want to be wealthy.

    The bottom line, as I see it, is that from the point of view of today’s poor business environment in this country, it makes more financial sense to keep people alive but suffering than to cure anything. I am not asserting the “conspiracy theory” that there is a cure for cancer and its being hidden; I’m simply asserting that pursuing cures may not make business sense for the very companies who have the resources to do so.

    There is even a personal experience that makes me wonder though…I started my work because I had an idea while studying and sent it out to a few professionals in the field. I an unexpected “you may be on to something here” followed by a good deal of help. I just had an idea and a few months later I co-author an article on a paper I wrote that gets published… then, without explanation, everything goes silent. Weird at the least ;). Maybe after a few months they learned something that told them it wouldn’t work… but if they did, they never mentioned it.


    For me, the heart of this lies in what it means to be a healthcare provider be it a doctor or a pharma exec. You cannot truly provide healthcare if profit is your goal. You can provide healthcare and earn profit, but if it is what drives you, people will suffer because it isn’t possible to objectively do your job.

    This needs to change in my opinion.

  23. timothymax1 April 15, 2012 5:34 am

    Any update on funding this research? I currently lead the HSV cure coalition (hsvcurecoalition@gmail.com) and this drug looks to be our best shot. I am extremely thankful for the hope it brings not only to myself but to the millions of others whose lives have/or will be devastated by a virus.
    Again, I really like what I have read and just wish there is something that we all could do to support this as it seems there would be ALOT of support. I understand that it will take time but with only 1 researcher really working on this I feel now is the time to raise some money to bring this to market years sooner. I may be off-base but believe that 6 years is possible!
    Please Doug, see what can be setup from a fundraising perspective as people want this drug and to be free!

  24. CogitoErgoBibo April 24, 2012 7:02 pm

    Hi Doug,

    Any update from MIT?

    Just a thought… if we setup a funding entity, perhaps we can kill two birds with a Change.org petition that alerts people to it… a title something like “Potential Virus Killer Underfunded at MIT”??

  25. Irina K May 1, 2012 5:56 am

    Hi everybody!
    I’ve heard about DRACO a couple days ago, and if its really true, its amazing. Dr.Todd Rider says about the lack of proper funding at MIT. Of course MIT is the respected and rich organization, but if it’s funding doesnt work enough, what about offering the research to HIV or Herpes organisations/fonds? They spend a lot of money for new researchings and they’re really intrested in succesfull tests.

    Otherwise, if to do nothing it could stay only idea for very long time, or even the idea on the paper in the dr’s table.
    I think its a good idea to setup a funding entity, or to create a petition.
    What do you say?

  26. blotolf May 3, 2012 6:32 pm

    Yes, MIT needs to establish a possibility for donation. Waiting for update.

  27. CogitoErgoBibo June 4, 2012 6:29 pm

    Just checking around for updates… I’m sorry to see this thread has gone cold. I did uncover this:

    “The HSV Cure Coalition will be working to develop a fundraising effort to speed up the process at getting this drug to human clinical trials. We are waiting on word from the team as to where funds can be directed.”


  28. CogitoErgoBibo July 31, 2012 6:14 pm

    Hi Doug,

    On the topic of viruses… I was wondering if you could get some light (sorry if you already have) on this…

    “Two More Men with HIV Now Appeared to be Cured ”

    It is the same process as was the first case in Germany where a stem cell donor was selected for an HIV resistant (macrophage related I heard, I haven’t been able to research it yet) gene(s) as part of a cancer treatment. That man was cured, and now there are two more.

    Take care,

  29. Zook August 3, 2012 5:43 am

    Hello Doug:

    I have attempted to get in touch with Dr. Rider for the past couple of weeks because I work with various fundraising organizations here in Los Angeles and on the east coast who have agreed to substantially fund Dr. Rider’s research if I could manage to get a hold of him. The problem is I have NOT been able to get a hold of him OR his team ─ and from what I’m reading in this thread, neither have you after the time of the interview, correct? Is there any way that you can help us get in touch with him? We all agree that this could be an important breakthrough and are willing to fund it significantly ─ potentially up to seven figures.
    Please let me know.


  30. doug August 3, 2012 6:15 am

    @Zook —

    I have not heard back from him.
    It did take a good while from the time I saw the PLoS ONE article and messaged him to the time he actually got back to me for the interview, but it has been, I believe, a longer time still since I emailed him regarding suggestions and offers on this thread. I am extremely curious about what’s going on and, if things have gone according to plan, experiments against the AIDS virus should be in process now.
    I’m going to start following up and try to find out where everything’s at. I’m local, so I can drop in to MIT or Harvard (where the AIDS tests were supposed to run) if that turns out to be necessary.
    Let me get started on that and I’ll definitely update this thread.

    @Scott — No — so far I’ve only read the basic reports. It’s definitely interesting material I intend to look deeper into though. Thanks for bringing it to the attention of this thread, and apologies for my delayed response.

    To be clear: I’ll begin reaching out to Dr. Rider again today. I understand he spends significant time in DC, but perhaps I will try to locate him on-campus in Cambridge if I don’t seem to be getting through otherwise… if only just to know where everything currently stands.

  31. TonyDewitt August 6, 2012 3:40 pm

    I have to say that this is the most important article on this topic, since it is “straight from the horse’s mouth” and not some rhetorical spin like most articles on this subject, especially with regard to his comments about retroviruses. Dr. Rider appears to be very confident about how this works and what needs to be done, so we should give him all of the support that he needs. It’s insane to be looking at what could be the greatest discovery in the history of medicine and wonder why it hasn’t gotten tons of financial support already. Dr. Rider sounds like he is making incredible progress on a shoe string, while big pharmaceutical companies have budgets many times larger, but are getting nowhere.

  32. TonyDewitt August 7, 2012 8:27 am

    Since “funding” is the key term in all of these discussions, why can’t anyone (me, you, or someone else) set up a page on the Fundly site for raising funds for DRACO? That’s what was done for ARF’s HIV vaccine effort. At least with the establishment of a place where people can donate money to this cause, the effort will gain some momentum. Doug, can you please give your thoughts on my suggestion?

  33. doug August 27, 2012 6:43 am

    Please see the following message from Dr. Rider:

    I’m very sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I have been on vacation and as far away as possible from work and email for most of August. I’ve been told previously that MIT’s Lincoln Lab, where our work is located, can only accept funding from government sponsors or established companies, not from individuals. Even funding from foundations has been problematic in the past. I certainly hope we can change that, but even so, the levels of sustained funding that we require for extensive animal trials and iterative improvements to our DRACO designs (>$1 million/year for several years) are beyond the level of most individuals. The MIT Technology Licensing Office is also extremely impatient to see our work transition beyond MIT, and in any event if our animal trials advance much beyond mice we would outgrow MIT’s animal facilities.

    At this point, what would make the biggest positive difference by far is if a company (anything from a large pharmaceutical company to a VC-funded startup, or anything in between) were willing to license our DRACO technology and partner with us in further developing it. We have been talking to several companies about that, but companies are very cautious about doing anything new in this current business environment, and we would really like to find more companies, and more eager companies, to talk to. Anything that you or your readers could do to steer potentially interested companies in our direction would be a tremendous help and would be greatly appreciated.

    As far as our funding and research status, we currently have about one more year of NIH funding, and that funding is enough to pay for about one person working full-time in our lab. We have divided that funding among the four of us who have not left the lab, with each of us working ~25% of our time on this project and the rest of our time on random other projects to pay the bills and avoid layoffs. I am continuing to try to get additional funding from government sponsors, and as I mentioned we have also been talking to companies about licensing and/or funding. With our limited current funding, we have focused our efforts on two scientific goals: (1) We are in the process of scaling up our methods of producing DRACO; whereas our previous production methods would only make enough DRACO for cell tests or a limited number of mice, we are testing and optimizing new methods to produce enough DRACO for large-scale mouse trials or trials in animals larger than mice. (2) We are testing DRACO against additional viruses in mice. In our July 2011 paper, we only demonstrated DRACO efficacy against H1N1 influenza in mice (plus 15 viruses in cells). Since then, we have obtained preliminary results demonstrating DRACO efficacy against two different hemorrhagic fever viruses, Amapari arenavirus and Guama bunyavirus, in mice. We are currently gathering additional mouse data on these viruses, and starting trials with new viruses too.

    Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. Thank you again very much for all of your help in getting the word out!

  34. CogitoErgoBibo August 27, 2012 7:52 am

    I am very happy to see Dr. Rider got back to you and that he and his group are still pushing forward. Its disappointing to see that people doing such important work are sharing a single grant and struggling to get their bills paid, a sorry state. I’ve always found that the way forward out of a stale financial situation is to seek innovation which, of course, requires embracing risk.

    At any rate, I will be doing all I can to locate a suitable firm and direct to Dr. Rider.

    Thank you again Doug for all your efforts!

    Take care,

  35. TonyDewitt August 27, 2012 8:24 am

    Indeed a sorry state; Dr. Rider’s description of the funding rules is quite frustrating – individuals can’t donate money to his effort, but a government sponsor or established company can? Based on this, the best possibility for funding to get off the ground would be to have a startup whose venture capital comes from the individuals who see Dr. Rider’s work as the great hope of humanity to finally defeat viruses. I doubt that big pharmacy companies would be interested in this, since it could be the cure to everything that they are already selling drugs to treat. Scott, if you do locate a suitable firm, please let us know, so we can throw our support in that direction.

  36. CogitoErgoBibo August 27, 2012 8:36 am

    I will be sure to Tony… Of course, if our collective efforts to find a suitable company fail, we can always put one together. Maybe setting a timeline and gathering a list of people interested in helping along with how they can contribute. I, for one, have entrepeneurial experience in the tech sector and I’m published in biosciences (personal site: http://www.synapticsynthase.com).

  37. TonyDewitt August 27, 2012 9:32 am

    Scott, I am happy that you know more than me about financing such an effort, since my guy off of the street take on this is that it’s intractable red tape. I doubt that Alexander Graham Bell or Thomas Edison had to worry about whether their patrons were capitalists or a 501c3 charity. And the goal here is to literally save people from certain death, which is a way more important invention than the telephone or light bulb. I recently read that the state of California wants to cure HIV because the amount of money it spends on HIV medication for its citizens is astronomical, and that made me think of the irony that a bad economy can’t support the research necessary to solve the problems that are burdening the bad economy, sort of a catch-22. Please put me on your list of people who want to help, I think that Dr. Rider’s work is arguably the greatest applied science work since the atomic bomb.

  38. CogitoErgoBibo August 27, 2012 10:15 am

    Dr. Rider’s work is truly historical. Thanks for your offer Tony, will do.

    If you want to see another example of historical work, check out Dr. Carl June and his use of Chimeric Antigen Receptor modified T Cells to drive two chemorefractory patients with 99% cancer cell density in their bone marrow to complete remission in a month. I wrote on it after his NIH presentation (http://blog.readingthinkingandwriting.com/?m=201104)

  39. TonyDewitt September 19, 2012 9:44 am

    CEB – Thanks for the article reference, that truly is amazing work, which gives me hope that the science fiction that occurs in labs can actually be applied to real patients, and literally can be the difference between life & death. Dr. Rider’s work is nothing short of Nobel Prize worthy, and it needs to be accelerated, not bogged down due to lack of funding. At the risk of sounding like a cry for help, what can we do to change the situation for DRACO testing & clinical trials?

  40. anonymous September 26, 2012 4:10 am

    Why not try starting a social media campaign to seek funding? This kind of research could really benefit from publicity and social media is free, easy and global. I get the impression that this did not receive a lot of press when it was first announced – I’ve seen a few articles about it but nothing really huge. The more awareness is spread, the more likely it will be that funds are donated.

  41. TonyDewitt September 26, 2012 11:16 am

    Although more publicity about Dr. Rider’s work is holistically good, I don’t see someone coming forward with millions of dollars as a result of further publicity, unless one random wealthy person suddenly decides to spend money on Dr. Rider’s efforts. Even then, according to the MIT rules described by Dr. Rider himself, his lab “can only accept funding from government sponsors or established companies, not from individuals”. Since going through the government is its own joke, funding would have to come from “established companies”. So how do the wires get connected? First, a company needs to be established that could accept funding from individual “investors” and/or “social media campaigns”, which could then provide that money to Dr. Rider’s lab in return for future “licensing” of said developed technology. I really wish I knew a lawyer skilled enough in corporate law who would navigate through all of this red tape, so that the goal (full testing of Dr. Rider’s work against all viruses, eventual clinical trails, etc.) could be fulfilled before countless millions die.

  42. CogitoErgoBibo September 26, 2012 11:49 am

    I’m trying to locate the appropriate individuals through previous connections and the technical council of my state. Previously on this thread people have preoffered contributions and I’m hoping that they are still one, interested, and two, watching the thread. It will aid my efforts by a good deal if I can show a significant initial interest.


  43. doug September 26, 2012 11:55 am

    I actually have been exploring the logistics of setting up the appropriate entity for funneling money into this, as I know Scott has been doing as well. Important to this, of course, would be transparency. Ideally, I would like to see an entity set up with so little or no overhead that 100% of what’s donated could go directly toward research. And, while it is a long-shot to expect the benevolent millionaires to readily step-in, I would love to see how far true grass-roots funding could take us.

  44. TonyDewitt September 26, 2012 12:01 pm


    As I was trying to describe, all “interested persons” need to join together as an “established company”. In plain words, a company needs to be started to buy into Dr. Riders work, thus soliciting investors – this approach will go much farther than any social media campaign. The lab’s rules require an established company as a supporter, and that requirement just so happens to plug into corporate capitalism, therefore we need to start a corporation.

    Best wishes.

  45. TonyDewitt September 26, 2012 12:11 pm


    As much as I love the idea of grass-roots funding, you can check ARF’s HIV vaccine funding effort, it’s not even at one percent of their goal after years of grass roots efforts / social media campaigns / etc, so I don’t see much potential in that avenue of funding. Radical ideas like Dr. Rider’s work require support from people who can understand the potential of the idea, most people either don’t see the potential, or don’t understand it, or don’t care. Going back to my Alexander Graham Bell example, most people probably thought his idea of a telephone was stupid or impractical to implement at best, and if it was was left up to them, the telephone would have never existed. We need to recognize that the same apathy exists for ARF and Mr. Bell’s efforts, and make this happen without the general population’s support.

    Best wishes.

  46. TonyDewitt September 26, 2012 12:13 pm


    As much as I love the idea of grass-roots funding, you can check ARF’s HIV vaccine funding effort, it’s not even at one percent of their goal after years of grass roots efforts / social media campaigns / etc, so I don’t see much potential in that avenue of funding. Radical ideas like Dr. Rider’s work require support from people who can understand the potential of the idea, most people neither don’t see the potential, nor don’t understand it, nor don’t care. Going back to my Alexander Graham Bell example, most people probably thought his idea of a telephone was stupid or impractical to implement at best, and if it was was left up to them, the telephone would have never existed. We need to recognize that the same apathy exists for ARF and Mr. Bell’s efforts and Dr. Rider’s efforts, and make progress for his work happen without the general population’s support.

    Best wishes.

  47. CogitoErgoBibo September 26, 2012 12:28 pm

    Hi Tony,

    “all “interested persons” need to join together as an “established company”. … This is what Doug and I are looking into :).

    I understand your point about grass roots funding efforts, but Dr. Rider’s approach actually isn’t radical. Protein domains (like functional sub-units) can be moved relatively easily from on protein to another ( Designing switchable enzymes. Ostermeier, M. [ed.] 442-448. 4, s.l. : Elsevier, 2009, Current opinion in structural biology, Vol. 19).

    Past this, the components he is using are common elements in the innate immune and cell turnover systems. So… neat. Ingenious… but not radical :)



  48. TonyDewitt September 26, 2012 12:38 pm


    Sorry, I did not mean “radical” relative to a scientific approach, I meant radical *relative* to a grass roots funding attempt. In other words, you can’t walk up to a person on the street and expect a donation after talking about protein domains :)

    I’m glad that we are on the same page now :)

    Best wishes.

  49. CogitoErgoBibo September 26, 2012 12:51 pm

    You bet :)

  50. PSchald September 26, 2012 1:34 pm

    For those saying it’s unlikely to work… the target is one million dollars, at the moment, tentatively? Projects on Kickstarter have been hitting two million in the span of a week or two, I think that with the proper publicity and if the donating was EASY enough to do, then we could cross that limit with little work.

  51. TonyDewitt September 26, 2012 4:29 pm


    The reason that I stated that it’s unlikely to work as a grass roots funding is because it’s currently being attempted (for the past few YEARS) by ARF for their HIV vaccine effort, and they’ve been unable to raise the same million dollars that you referenced. After all their work, they have been only able to raise $61,980 from 93 donors, and bear in mind this is an organization that has members of the Arizona Beverage on its board (who are millionaires). Maybe you could teach them something that they don’t know or haven’t tried?

    More importantly, per the rules, the money can’t come through charitable donations, that’s as important a distinction as the previous disagreement that “radical” didn’t mean scientifically outrageous, “radical” meant beyond the digestable scope of the average person who is considering financially contributing to the effort. Obviously, more interest is drawn to the idea by the corporate approach than by the charity approach – simply put, educated capital investment types are more likely to get involved financially (and in much larger amounts) with a corporation than the average person off of the street would in a grass roots effort. Although the math would favor the model of many people providing small amounts of money, invariably the model is a few people providing very large amounts of money. That being said, I hope that you’re right, and it’s that easy. Maybe we are just apart on the concept of charity versus corporation? Are KS’s “projects” considered charity or corporate endeavors, or some mix of the two?

    Best wishes.

  52. CogitoErgoBibo September 26, 2012 7:06 pm


    I haven’t explored this with my contacts yet nor have I thought it through, so please excuse an idea in raw form… I mentioned it briefly earlier…

    What about the idea of having the company acquire patents and offer stock out through something like Kickstarters? A biotech firm effectively owned by “the masses” and dedicated to the search for cures.

    Take care,

  53. TonyDewitt September 27, 2012 8:49 am


    I love your approach of “having the company acquire patents and offer stock”, since the grass roots approach of ARF’s HIV vaccine fund raising has been heartbreakingly unsuccessful (see previously stated numbers). Not only does your approach fit MIT lab’s requirements, but also it is more likely to draw serious, large investors in addition to smaller ones.

    Best wishes.

  54. CogitoErgoBibo October 19, 2012 6:51 am

    Does anyone know why, given:

    From: Interferon-inducible antiviral effectors

    “…Experiments in PKR-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts show that PKR is involved in protection against infection with a number of RNA viruses, including HCV112, Hepatitis D virus113, WNV114, HIV-1115, SV116, encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV)117, and the Foot-and-mouth virus (FMDV)118, as well as some DNA viruses such as HSV-1119. As for MxA and OAS1, genetic analysis of human populations show that polymorphisms in PKR correlate with the outcome of HCV infection120.”

    Induction of CD4 Expression and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Replication by Mutants of the Interferon-Inducible Protein Kinase PKR

    “…PKR is thought to play an important role in HIV-1 infection. For example, the HIV-1 transactivator-responsive RNA (TAR) has been shown to bind to and modify PKR activity in vitro due to its extensive secondary structure (14, 19, 20, 32, 48). To prevent the decrease in viral protein synthesis, HIV-1 has evolved strategies to overcome PKR activation. For instance, productive HIV-1 infection has been shown to be accompanied by a reduction of cellular levels of PKR, which is mediated by the HIV-1 Tat protein (49).”


    “The dsRNA detection domains included PKR1–181, PKR1–181 with dsRBM 1 (NTE3L), dsRBM 2 (CTE3L), or dsRBM 1 and 2 (2×E3L) replaced by the dsRNA binding motif from poxvirus E3L, and RNaseL1–335 (which binds to 2–5A produced by endogenous cellular 2–5A synthetases in response to viral dsRNA).”



  55. TonyDewitt October 21, 2012 10:01 pm


    Would the same apply for the HTLV virus?


  56. CogitoErgoBibo October 22, 2012 7:20 am

    I would have to do more searching to be confident in my response, but given that it is a retrovirus like HIV (actually I read that HIV was originally thought to be type of HTLV), and the sources of the dsRNA binding motifs used in DRACO are targeted by retroviral countermeasures, I would think HTLV would be a DRACO target.

    “The retroviral armamentarium also commands mechanisms to counter cellular post-transcriptional innate defenses, including protein kinase R, 2′,5′-oligoadenylate synthetase and the small RNA pathway.”

    What I’m still looking for is how DRACO overcomes dsRNA sequestration. My first though is that it amounts to concentrations. Say, the sequestration is not 100%. What is present in the cytosol may not be sufficient to activate the anti-viral innate effectors, but it may be sufficient for DRACO to act. But that is just my working theory.

  57. CogitoErgoBibo October 22, 2012 7:21 am

    I would have to do more searching to be confident in my response, but given that it is a retrovirus like HIV (actually I read that HIV was originally thought to be type of HTLV), and the sources of the dsRNA binding motifs used in DRACO are targeted by retroviral countermeasures, I would think HTLV would be a DRACO target.

    “The retroviral armamentarium also commands mechanisms to counter cellular post-transcriptional innate defenses, including protein kinase R, 2′,5′-oligoadenylate synthetase and the small RNA pathway.”

    What I’m still looking for is how DRACO overcomes dsRNA sequestration. My first though is that it amounts to concentrations. Say, the sequestration is not 100%. What is present in the cytosol may not be sufficient to activate the anti-viral innate effectors, but it may be sufficient for DRACO to act. But that is just my working theory.


    I am working on a full length article on DRACO which presents the biology in what I hope are readily accesible terms… when I’m done I’ll post it here:

  58. adviseme October 22, 2012 11:20 pm

    Tony Bro, We all know why there is no support for DRACO from pharmacuticals and govt health agencies, coz this will kill their profit and show them bad on wallstreet. Many pharma companies have stopped spending reaserch money for cure, all they want is to manage symptoms to make money fool uuing the word treatment.

    Dr Todd riders approch is very novel, we should support this cause with all possible means we can.Let humanity win over selfish greed.

  59. TonyDewitt October 23, 2012 7:45 am


    Thanks for trying to make this more understandable for more people, since allegations are rampant on the various forums that DRACO won’t work for all viruses (as theoretically claimed), especially retroviruses (HIV, HTLV), and a strain of Hanta virus. The quick answer is that time will tell, and unless Dr. Rider gets funding, that amount of time is going to be very long.


    You’re right, no company wants a cure for something that is making billions in profit. Ironically, to push DRACO forward, we need to start a company that will fund DRACO, thus becoming another company that is “out for itself and nobody else”.

    Best wishes.

  60. LAFYBUG248 November 9, 2012 5:39 pm

    I would be interested in investing or purchasing stock if you get it off the ground. Would that eliminate big pharma in at least part of the process?

  61. sammy November 9, 2012 7:28 pm

    Would DRACO work on latent viruses like HSV and EBV?

    The media seems to be very silent about this. Even on the internet, all the articles i could find are from 2011.

    What happened to the idea of getting this funded?

  62. CogitoErgoBibo November 9, 2012 8:50 pm

    As I mentioned earlier, I’m working on an article that will present DRACO with the molecular biology necessary to understand why it may be a monumental breakthrough. As I see it, molecular bio may be complex in it’s application, however, conceptually, it is actually quite simple. I’m hoping that some of the reason that there is so little excitement around DRACO relative to what I believe there should be is because the public has been hit by an overzealous media headlining about many “wonders” that haven’t translated outside the lab or had more “collateral damage” than expected. Once people see DRACO in context of the biology, I’m hoping that the implications of Dr. Rider’s brilliant work will be evident to most.

    I will post an link when its in draft form some time this week so that I might gain some feedback from this blog’s intellectually well endowed readership. :)

    Sammy… I have not read deeply in HSV so please don’t take this as authoritative… but it looks to me like HSV is a viable target of DRACO, however, given that the viral resevoir is contained with sensory neurons, there is a little more to consider. For one, I haven’t read to deep on Caspase-mediated apoptosis in neurons so I can’t comment on DRACO’s effector function in that cell class, however, even if it is effective whacking sensory neurons may not be desirable… especially in those regions of our anatomy 😉

    As to getting it funded, I, for one, am still working on it, though it is in my spare time since my professional career is far from the biosciences I am so passionate about. I want the article I am writing to play a role in drumming up crowd sourced support to fund a venture as described and deliniated by Doug and Dr. Rider above.


  63. LAFYBUG248 November 11, 2012 9:00 am

    Chimirex appears to be the better current hopeful for HSV

  64. CogitoErgoBibo November 11, 2012 12:24 pm

    Thanks Lafybug…

    I’ll have to look further into it tonight, but reading

    “We believe that if we can successfully develop a product with increased efficacy and reduced toxicities we can provide ”

    doesn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy 😉


  65. TonyDewitt November 11, 2012 3:36 pm

    LB – thank you for your interest in moving this forward, I hope that if enough people care enough to invest in this idea, it will become a reality in our lifetime.

    Sammy – everyone wants to this to work for everything, since that is the original premise, and we know that there are dozens of viruses in the world (both life threatening and not) that deserve treatment in the form of a broad spectrum antiviral. Personally I suffer in pain daily, and there’s no treatment for HTLV, you just suffer and eventually die while the doctors sit on their hands.

    Using HIV as popular example, doctors warned for years that “reservoirs” of HIV would be impossible to treat; those reservoirs being the lymph nodes, brain, and other organs. On the contrary, at least four people have had HIV cleared from their bodies, one named Timothy Brown, the two other recently, and one patient from City of Hope twenty years ago (who unfortunately died from cancer). All of these patients had in common bone marrow transplants, which ignited a graft versus host response, where the transplanted cells kill every old cell. So the reservoir theory of untreatable virus has been forever shot down.

    Viruses that live inside nerves (herpes, polio) can be activated; as with HIV, HDAC inhibitors serve to awaken sequestered virus, like a cellular steroid of sorts. If all the of viruses could be awakened at once, they would be vulnerable to immune system attack, and any unsequestered cells could be vulnerable to DRACO. Again, I am just thinking out loud, so if my imagination has gotten away from me, please excuse me. I’m just using information at hand to draw logical conclusions. Alternatively, we could ask Dr. Rider if he believes that DRACO is capable of passing through places like the blood / brain barrier and nerve sheaths to treat virally infected cells inside the central nervous system and spinal cord.

    Best wishes.

  66. CogitoErgoBibo November 11, 2012 6:55 pm

    Hi Doug,

    I’m very sorry to hear that you have to suffer with HTLV. I’m hoping for the best for you and for everyone.

    As to the blood brain barrier… from Dr. Rider’s paper: “For delivery into cells in vitro or in vivo, DRACOs can be fused with proven protein transduction tags, including a sequence from the HIV TAT protein [28], the related protein transduction domain 4 (PTD) [29], and polyarginine (ARG) [30]. These tags have been shown to carry large cargo molecules into both the cytoplasm and the nucleus of all cell types in vitro and in vivo, even across the blood-brain barrier.”

    And there are other options. I have conversed with Dr. Wender from Stanford who is authority on cross-membrane transport and tissue penetration and from his paper on Guanidinium Rich Transports (GRT), there are many configurations available to build a transporter and more than one has shown that capability.

    Also, if you review Dr. Rider’s patent application (#7566694) “A broad spectrum of pathogens will be susceptable to treatment with the agents and molecules described herein, and include, for example and without limitation…, retroviruses (such as human immunodeficiency virus and human T cell Leukemia virus)…”

    Take care,

  67. CogitoErgoBibo November 11, 2012 7:22 pm

    My apologies Lafybug… I can’t find the level of detail I am looking for with regard to Chimerix’s drugs so it will take a bit.

  68. TonyDewitt November 11, 2012 8:22 pm

    Hi Scott,

    Thanks for your sympathy regarding HTLV (even though my name isn’t Doug), since most people frankly don’t care about HTLV. Secondly, thank you for your references on cross-membrane transport and the blood-brain barrier. Thirdly, thanks also for referencing the patent application’s mention of both HIV & HTLV – that brings me much comfort and hope, since people in other forums have been saying that this wont work against retroviruses. I have been chatting with a HTLV patient in Italy who is in the late stages of the disease after only 7 years of being infected (a leukemia that leads to rapid death). His wife and child are also infected, which is why I stress that Dr. Rider’s work equates to life and death for people with HTLV. Also noteworthy is that most HIV patients are unknowingly infected with HTLV, which accelerates their progression to death.

    Best wishes.

  69. CogitoErgoBibo November 12, 2012 5:24 am


    My apologies Tony… Oddly enough I saw a green background on your post and therefore assumed it was Doug.

    An interesting note on the bone marrow transplants you mentioned… Specific mutations are being investigated in immune system related proteins including CCR5 as conferring the HIV resistant phenotype. I am not an authority (I’m self-taught), but it looks like, perhaps, the infections are destroyed by attrition because the mutation in CCR5 renders the virus unable to bind to and therefore enter the cell thus breaking the replication cycle and depeleting the resevoir.

    “Despite multiple exposures to HIV-1, some individuals remain uninfected, and their peripheral-blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) are resistant to in-vitro infection by primary HIV-1 isolates. Such resistance has been associated with a homozygous 32-base-pair deletion (Δ32) in the C-C chemokine receptor gene CCR5. We examined other mutations of the CCR5 gene that could be associated with resistance to HIV-1 infection.”


    Take care,

  70. Lucky999 November 18, 2012 9:24 pm

    This is a huge, huge news to health care industry. I am still wondering why it’s not a headline… This will save millions and millions of poor souls out there. How about try creating the petition for DRACO fund? We need 25000 signatures. If this get publicize, we can make it happen.

  71. sammy November 19, 2012 6:32 am

    Chimerex, currently still in trials, is NOT a cure but only a stronger antiviral. it will hopefully help many people control their symptoms better, but at the end of the day what we are hoping and praying for is a true cure.


    From reading about DRACO I can say that HSV infected cells will probably be targeted since they express dsRNA. The questions i have are related to whether or not DRACO can overcome HSV’s ability to block apoptosis in neurons (although, other viruses prevent apoptosis as well).

    As to whether or not it is a good idea to whack off sensory neurons, these neurons are already compromised and studies have shown that they do not behave like regular neurons and have characteristics similar to those involved in neurodegenerative diseases. the HSV reservoir is only in a limited number of sensory neurons, and since these are already compromised i think most people would be willing to sacrifice them to be cured.

  72. CogitoErgoBibo November 19, 2012 11:04 am


    All viruses I’ve seen mentioned in studies produce dsRNAs, however, some are hidden from the Interferon Response in different ways (perhaps why some studies detected no dsRNA in the cytosol). For example, some viruses produce their own dsRNA binding proteins so cellular proteins like PKR (whose detection domain is used by DRACO) will not be able to bind. Others replicate within vesicles or the cell’s nucleus.

    However, when thinking about cellular reactions and processes its important to think about them in terms of concentrations. From what I’ve seen and what Dr. Rider told me the amount of dsRNA necessary for the natural Interferon Response is much higher than that necessary for DRACO.

    As to apoptosis… as Dr. Rider mentions in his paper, and I’ve confirmed from studies I’ve found, the majority of viruses interfere with apoptosis at a very early stage in the intrinsic signal, for example, by acting on the mitochondrial membrane.

    DRACO initiates apoptosis further down the signal chain thus is not affected by any viral counter-measure that I’ve read about, though my search has not been exhaustive in any way.

    Thanks Sammy as I wasn’t aware of the effect of HSV on host neuron function. I’ll have to investigate that further…

    Take care,

  73. TonyDewitt November 19, 2012 12:28 pm


    Regarding your point about viral interference of apoptosis, HTLV accomplishes that via various kinases (JAK, IKK, and CDK). The survival of HTLV infected cells depends on the inflammation, much like HIV. The recent FDA approval of the JAK inhibitor Xeljanz opens the door for HTLV sufferers to treat HTLV for the first time in history. Other kinase inhibitors (BMS-345541 inhibits IKK, Purvalanol-A inhibits CDK) could be combined as a “triple cocktail” against HTLV. With 25 million people infected, paralyzed, and dying, these medications cannot arrive soon enough.

    Best wishes.

  74. TonyDewitt November 19, 2012 1:36 pm

    I know that in addition to doubts regarding DRACO’s efficacy against retroviruses (HIV, HTLV), there’s also concerns about “collateral damage” of destroying too many infected cells. Although both points are reasonable, one has to imagine that in order to have a “sterilizing cure”, every infected cell must be destroyed. The handful of people who have been cured of HIV have had bone marrow transplants, which incur graft versus host (GVH) disorder, where the grafted cells replace original host cells, destroying every one of them. In the Dr. Rider interviews, he states that infected cells are doomed to die anyway, DRACO just kills them before they can emit new virus particles, so “collateral damage” should not be a show stopper.

  75. sammy November 19, 2012 3:33 pm


    please do look into whether latent HSV could be cured by DRACO. From what I have read, I feel very hopeful. The HSV community is currently donating money to other researchers who are looking into a cure and would be willing to fund DRACO as well. We are following news on DRACO as a possible HSV cure very closely.

    Also, could you expound more on the creation of DRACO? Simple scientific walk through on fusion of protein domains using PCR and flow cytometry and the like. Some explanation about its creation would be a great help to dispel the ignorance of many people (on other forums) who seem to think that this drug will turn us into zombies. I tried accessing the patent but was unable to open it. Perhaps you could link it again? I would very much like to go over it and gain a deeper understanding. Thank you

  76. doug November 19, 2012 3:46 pm

    My sincere apologies for being remiss in keeping up with the comments, questions, and emails (sorry Scott). I’ve been caught up in quite a bit of time-consuming nonsense that, while necessary that I keep up with for my own well-being, obviously doesn’t carry the world-wide weight of import that DRACO promises. Please allow me to offer that if between Scott, Tony, and Sammy, we can produce a list of follow-up questions for Dr. Rider, I will be happy to hunt him down and see if he’ll talk them over with me, if not be willing to produce written replies. We could do this via Google doc, if that works for the 3 of you, and I can establish this document and share it through the emails you each have registered with on Process.org (so that you don’t have to post your emails publicly)?

  77. TonyDewitt November 19, 2012 5:12 pm


    Your suggestion is great (Google doc), thank you! I’ve never used it before, but there’s a first time for everything. Between everyone chafing at the bit to know that this will work against each virus of interest (HTLV, HSV, etc) and the other forums pontificating that this won’t work for some viruses, we’re reaching something of a fever pitch.

    Best wishes.

  78. doug November 19, 2012 6:00 pm

    “Between everyone chafing at the bit to know that this will work against each virus of interest (HTLV, HSV, etc) and the other forums pontificating that this won’t work for some viruses, we’re reaching something of a fever pitch.”
    Yes, I’m not a virologist (as may be apparent) but I’ve seen some plainly absurd criticisms of DRACO from arm-chair professors on other forums spreading apparently Crichton-inspired doom & gloom scenarios. Particularly, there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of people who will complain that the introduction of DRACO into the population will surely create a supervirus. Either the virus has dsRNA & should be entirely eradicated, or — if perchance it should not — it would be uneffected, no new selective pressure. Of course, this type of criticism isn’t even specific to DRACO and could be applied to reject any type of proposed cure to any virus whatsoever. It is disheartening to see that there are those who, in ignorance, seem to reject DRACO as the sinister work of mad scientist looking to invade their bodies with harmful manufactured substances. My prejudice against these people has me imagining them bidding for Twinkies online and not recognizing the irony.

  79. CogitoErgoBibo November 19, 2012 6:06 pm

    Hi Doug… glad you’re back!

    I’ll write more on this in a bit, but just so everyone knows, I am working on an article that does just what you asked for Tony (I hope :) ) that Dr. Rider has graciously offered to review it for me. I did get in touch with him and he answered my most pressing question… from his answer I was able to delve into viral research and find answers to the rest (or at least form sound, sourced, conjectures)

    I’m not quite done but I am hoping that maybe you guys can do kind of an advanced preview, would anyone be interested? I can make it available if you are…


  80. TonyDewitt November 19, 2012 6:16 pm


    I’ve updated the Google document that you provided, thanks again for that! And yes, the amount of shoot from the hip criticism is over the top. Kind of reminds me of the rough ride given to the guy who discovered that the earth is not the center of the universe. I would certainly love to be the first person in line to try this treatment, and I know dozens of other people who feel the same.


    Thanks for marshaling the information for me; being an engineer, having a thorough explanation with all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed is paramount, especially in dealing with the nay sayers.

    Best wishes.

  81. doug November 19, 2012 6:17 pm

    That’s great, Scott. I’m glad Dr. Rider got back to you. I sent you, Tony, and Sammy a Google doc invite. Perhaps you can add the questions and answers you already received there, and we can begin considering what other questions might need consideration?

  82. CogitoErgoBibo November 19, 2012 7:26 pm

    Doug, Tonny, Sammy,

    My article is about 70% complete and there are some areas that I still need to confirm, source, and complete… However, I think it will not only answer the questions I’ve seen, but also should address others that may have come up.

    I put it up temporarily on my Sharepoint site so you guys can have a look and let me know what you think… Can you try this link?


  83. sammy November 20, 2012 4:07 pm

    great article scott! its very informative.

    my 2 cents would be that the intro needs to be stronger and more organized. also, the part that mentions of much work scientists do and other related non-scientific sentiments should be pulled out and stuck into the last part of the article about why we need to support it and generate money etc. :)

  84. CogitoErgoBibo November 20, 2012 4:12 pm

    Thank you Sammy! I appriciate your time. Was it easy to read? Answer some questions?

    I plan to submit it to magazines and newspapers in addition to the usual social media broadcasts.

    I have been reworking the intro quite a bit. I’m “used to” writing scientific in which “exciting” is in the content not the presentation, which is supposed to be a bit more on the stoic side 😉

    If anyone else has time, I would really appriciate the comments.

  85. Matt November 20, 2012 6:12 pm


    I have been watching this thread for some time now and would love to make myself of use.

    I have read your article and think it’s a great start! While my skills are not scientific I would be more than happy to give it a proper edit.

    Beyond this article there is still the looming issue of funding as it has been made clear that MIT would only accept funding from a for profit corporation. I would think Kickstarter (as mentioned by many others) or Indie Go Go may possibly serve as this corporation. I understand they may not fit the bill, and even if they do there are still major hurdles to overcome based on the unknowns of DRACO—will it work?

    If I can be of any service please let me know. My ‘skills’ lie in writing, social media (everybody’s a specialist these days…but it is my day job), video editing, web design and coding (the latter two are evolving. Just a beginner).

    Anyways, I truly applaud you all for your attention and serious discussion regarding DRACO’s possibilities. It is a drug that is truly needed!

    Take care, stay safe,

    – Matt

  86. CogitoErgoBibo November 20, 2012 8:22 pm

    Thank you Matt, I look forward to your help.

    I would say some preliminary circulation of Doug’s most excellent interview through the social media would be benificial. It gave some their introduction and others, like me, a well crafted and informative center from which to reach out.

    (To anyone interested, I uploaded another revision tonight (work done from “Join to Overcome” down…))

    Thanks Scott,

  87. sammy November 20, 2012 8:57 pm


    I post some questions onto the google doc and i’ll try to think of more. When will you be meeting with Dr Rider? Or will you just email him the doc?

    I asked if Dr. Rider might allow other labs to do preclinical animal studies with DRACO. The trend with big pharmaceutical companies these days is to outsource trials, both human and animal, overseas in order to cut costs and accelerate the process. In this case im only talking about pre clinical animal studies. Dr Rider holds the patent so there shouldn’t be any problems. The point is to do more studies, on more viruses and cells, faster and for less money.

    I really believe in the good this drug can do. But we have an uphill battle ahead of us. Those championing the drug need to think outside of the box in order to make this a reality.

  88. sammy November 20, 2012 9:10 pm

    @ scott.

    Its quite easy to read and very informative. Im in the medical field though, so i cant say if those with a different background would feel the same. i also feel that it could be made much stronger by some good editing.

    Sure. Im very willing to answer questions and help out. :)

  89. CogitoErgoBibo November 24, 2012 7:45 pm


    Just a minor update… I put up a new rev of my article which includes the first example of how DRACO overcomes viral defenses (such as sequestration, etc…) with the addition of a discussion on Influenza A which replicates in the nucleus and produces no “detectable” dsRNA in the cytoplasm. The intro to the second is there as well, but I think I might switch it out since using vesicles to hide their dsRNA is just another passive defense like using the nucleus..

    Here’s the link again: (it’s under the “which viruses…” heading)


    Thanks Scott,

  90. TonyDewitt November 24, 2012 8:54 pm

    I wanted to add another question to the google document, but somehow lost my handle to it:

    Is the DRACO treatment absolutely identical for all viruses, or would different molecules need to be used against different viruses?

  91. CogitoErgoBibo November 24, 2012 9:38 pm

    Hi Tony,

    DRACO is specific to the dsRNA structure, not any particular surface protein or other marker, so yes, DRACO is identicle for virtually all viruses. The limiting factor is a miminal production of dsRNA, but I have not seen evidence of any virus not producing long dsRNAs in one course or another so DRACO should, theoretically, be as broad spectrum as one could expect.

    If you haven’t already, please have a look at the article I am writing (linked above). If I did not answer your question within, please let me know. Your input regardless would be most valued.

    Thanks Scott,

  92. TonyDewitt November 25, 2012 1:43 am


    I just read over your article – I like the way you wrote it, along with with the diagrams.

    Best wishes.

  93. CogitoErgoBibo November 25, 2012 6:47 am

    Thanks Tony… I’m glad you liked it. Did it leave you with any questions? If it did, I failed in some area so if you can let me know where, I’ll be sure to work harder there.


  94. Zlikster November 26, 2012 10:08 am

    Very interseting subject indeed. Anyone has any lawyers that can be helpful in providing a way to fund Dr.Rider’s work? I guess there should be a proxy company which would collect money from public/social networks raised funds and provide it directly to MIT team. Glad to see there is some movement happening, at least on this blog, regarding funding this project. In my personal opinion this has HUGE medical implication for all of dsRNA/DNA virus infections (and there are a lot of them).

    What i am curious about, is how long (is it possible?) would it take dsRNA virus to mutate in radical way (maybe evolving from dsRNA to ssRNA?) that it would evade detection of that chimeric protein?

    Since this chimeric protein can pass thru blood/brain barrier, would it be too risky to kill infected neuron cells or any other latent virus infected cells (if in huge number of cells in critical organs?).

    all the best

  95. TonyDewitt November 26, 2012 11:16 am


    That’s the drum that I’ve been beating – someone skilled with the rules & regulations (i.e. lawyer) would need to be able to establish some entity (e.g. corporation) that would be compatible with the by-laws of Dr. Rider’s research. Once that is done, people could donate / buy into said entity, be it a corporation or something else.

    Since I’m focused on HTLV treatment, I am glad that this penetrates the blood brain barrier, since HTLV does affect the central nervous system & causes damage. However, everyone’s asked your same question – would any body component be so damaged by the curative effect of DRACO that it would be counterproductive to treat with DRACO? The simple answer from Dr. Rider’s interview is no, since those cells are doomed anyway, so destroying them is collateral, and reduces the reproduction of new viral particles, which is the goal of any antiviral therapy.

    Best wishes

  96. CogitoErgoBibo November 26, 2012 6:52 pm


    To add to Tony’s excellent response…

    On the one hand, mutations are generally acting within a given sequence or sequences of genetic material not the genetic material itself. To give you an analogy, consider human cells. We may have point mutations where a single nucleotide switches from, say, a C to a T, or a translocation where one part of one chromosome grafts onto a different chromosome, but our genetic material is still DNA double helix.

    Now, there are different genus and families of viruses and some have their genetic material stored as ssRNA, some as DNA, and some as dsRNA. However, during the replication and transcription process, dsRNA, to the extent of my reading, will always be produced as a by product of that process.

    As evidence, consider that DRACO has been shown effective against them all. Take Influenza A, whose genome is ssRNA and replicates in the nucleus. In Dr. Rider’s work the team exposed hepatocytes (liver cells) to Influenza A… some that were treated with DRACO and some that weren’t. After 3 days, all untreated cells were dead. After 72 days, those treated with DRACO survived.

    Dr. Rider has given me some good feedback on the article I am writing and though I’m just incorporating it now, what is done should provide an understanding of the biology behind DRACO, and answer a good number of questions.

    That is my intent anyway :) if I have failed anywhere… something doesn’t make sense… please, if you have time to read it… kindly let me know.

    Here is the link:


  97. BRD1 November 28, 2012 3:43 am

    http://www.cnihr.org/ it is a huge medical and academic push to Cure HIV after the bone marrow and successful eradication and or functioning cure of 3 American men who received bone marrow transplants and I think this research is key to the kill shot to HIV! and many other virus based diseases ! Cure! Submit your concept proposals by 17 October 2012 on http://www.cnihr.org.

    The Creative and Novel Ideas in HIV Research (CNIHR) grant programme is currently accepting applications with the potential to contribute to the search for an HIV Cure. This round of the CNIHR programme welcomes innovative proposals by researchers without prior experience in HIV cure research.

    Ten to twelve research grants to support HIV cure research, for direct research costs plus applicable indirect costs, worth up to US$ 150,000 per year, for one to two years will be awarded at the 7th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2013) which will be held in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) from 30 June to 3 July 2013. Maybe MIT can send a representative !

  98. TonyDewitt November 28, 2012 11:25 am


    Although the bone marrow transplant’s eradication of HIV via induction of graft versus host disease is impressive, medical authorities have cautioned that treating everyone with a bone marrow transplant is too risky. The idea isn’t new, an HIV / cancer patient at City of Hope twenty years ago was treated with a bone marrow transplant, and although he died from the cancer, no HIV could be found in his body. Of course no one followed up with the marrow donor to see if he had the special T-cells (i.e. mutated CCR5 receptor), but we know now that special T-cells aren’t necessary, since two other patients were cured with “non-special” T-cells.

    The true novelty in the bone marrow transplant approach is that it causes the destruction of every infected AND uninfected cell via graft versus host response – the new cells come in, the old cells go out – every old cell is destroyed. Doctor Rider’s approach also strives to kill every infected cell, but it selectively chooses only infected cells, leaving uninfected cells unharmed. Ironically people are questioning if Doctor Rider’s treatment would be too severe, but compared to the bone marrow approach, it would be akin to chopping a few trees down versus burning the entire forest to the ground. At this junction, we seem to have the virus bracketed between these two treatment approaches, the austere bone marrow transplant and the much less destructive DRACO treatment.

    Another treatment option that sits in the middle of the draconian scale (forgive the pun) is Azacytidine, it’s been shown effective against retroviruses in vivo (a patient in Greece was apparently cleared of HTLV after 8 months dosing), and in vitro (Doctor Louis Mansky’s team issued a paper show that it can induce “lethal mutagenesis” against HIV). Perhaps an invitation to Doctor Mansky’s group is in order so that they can present their findings at the conference in Malaysia. Following that to a successful conclusion, everyone with HIV / HTLV would be put on a short term (about a year) dosage of Azacytidine. As previously mentioned, Azacytidine is not a pleasant drug, but I’m sure that millions of HIV / HTLV sufferers would rather take a year’s dosing of it instead of looking at disability and death.

    Clearly we need Doctor Rider’s treatment as soon as possible, and the only way to accelerate its (currently very slow) development is with money from non-government entities (e.g. individuals like us), in a shape and form that is compatible with the rules & laws of his research institution.

    Best wishes.

  99. MIT Cure November 28, 2012 2:42 pm


    I really like the Doug interview and it is similar to an interview I conducted with Dr. David Bloom at the University of Florida regarding his approach to develop a cure for Herpes Simplex 1. The only thing is that I got so fed up about researchers not being funded I personally decided to do something about it and went way beyond the interview. I formed the Herpes Cure Coalition (HCC) and with my leadership team we got Dr. Bloom’s project sponsored in the Pepsi Refresh campaign. In tandem we also ran fundraising campaigns. After 1 month I had won the Pepsi Refresh Grant by finishing Top 10 out of over a thousand approved entries and Dr. Bloom and team were awarded $50,000 to continue his cure research. By 2 months I had raised an additional $30,000 on top of the $50,000. One person can make a difference and a coalition can make an even bigger difference. It takes time, marketing know-how, and extreme determination! Dr. Bloom and others have told me this was the most any advocacy or individual has done for Herpes University research in the history of the disease.

    See the winning video below: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oc369WbH6KU

    Now I am thinking about my next big campaign. With the HCC and contacts built for the Pepsi Refresh (note we partnered with the AIDS Research Alliance) I feel that we could fire up a new marketing campaign. However, many things must happen to make this happen. Having seen what it takes to make grassroots funding happen here is what I suggest:

    1) Someone needs to call the MIT Lincoln Lab or MIT Office of Giving and determine what the EXACT requirements are for a company to give to the PANACEA Project (targeted toward Draco).
    2) One step 1 is completed we need to work with a lawyer to determine how to set up a company (most likely a quick LLC/something that meets MIT requirements) that we can use to Funnel Money to the PANACEA project.
    3) Once the company is set up we need to develop a new list of potential donors. Off the top of my list I would use the HCC list and HCC Partners but this would be just the beginning. We would need to add the advocacy groups for EVERY single virus group we could find—literally hundreds of email addresses. This will take a lot of time and research. Individual volunteers could work together to tackle this task or we could take this farm out the work by posting it on one of those Job/Tasking sites where you pay a certain amount for research.
    4) Once we have the company and the marketing lists we will need to Host the Project on a crowdsourcing funding site. Right now my current pick is http://www.curelauncher.com as they meet the exact mission of what we are trying to accomplish. I have taken a task to talk to them about this potential project. I was actually thinking about developing a site like this myself but since I work full time I do not have the time.
    5) The project needs to get posted on the crowdsourcing funding site and we have to literally market the living BEJEUSUS out of the project. Backlinks, SEO, forums, newsgroups, yahoo groups, local newspapers—anything we can potentially find that touches the word “Virus.” Once it is heavily marketed and visible the funds will come but we will need an army of individual volunteer marketers to push the project—especially if we want to hit major funding amounts.

    Anything less than numbers 1 through 5 will not get it done. That is the reality. This is hard work and it requires serious dedication. My advice is if you are serious you get moving. I will provide some assistance but cannot support this effort full time.

    Here is a major drawback: Because MIT will only accept funds from a company I would assume that people donating to the company on the funding site will not be able to use the donation for a tax write off. When people were donating to Dr. Bloom we set up a fund at the University and all donations were tax deductible. People give more when the donations are tax deductible. I know that http://www.microryza.com is currently working through this issue and perhaps http://www.curelauncher.com is also looking at this issue.

  100. doug November 28, 2012 2:57 pm

    I love it. I love the break-down, and I think it’s absolutely the right way to proceed. However, let’s not double our efforts. Let’s perhaps schedule a conference call and allocate certain points to whoever has the time and motivation. What works best for the rest of you? A Google hang-out? Skype? A Google doc? What’s everybody using?

  101. TonyDewitt November 28, 2012 3:12 pm


    I was a big fan of your Google doc approach, but that’s just my opinion.

    Best wishes.

  102. CogitoErgoBibo November 28, 2012 3:18 pm

    I have a Google + account

  103. MIT Cure November 28, 2012 3:59 pm


    If you contact Dr. Rider I would let him know to apply to http://www.cnihr.org immediately while we figure this out. I have reached out to the leadership at CureLauncher and have explained out problem and see if they have any solution for how to get Dr. Rider and MIT Draco funding. We need the detailed policy from Lincoln Lab on who can give. Doug I would say you should take that on so we can move forward since you have done the most research and conducted the initial interview. Once we know the exact rules we will be in a better position. IMO this is the best project to fund right now as all the other ones only target 1 exact virus and this will kill many birds with one stone.

  104. CogitoErgoBibo November 28, 2012 5:55 pm

    I emailed the info to Dr. Rider in case Doug got busy and didn’t see your post.

  105. Matt November 29, 2012 9:39 am

    We need a leader and some semblance of organization to stand a chance.

    I personally like the Google Docs suggestion and a use of Google’s other products (ie.; Calendar) to assign tasks.

    ‘MIT Cure’ outlined some of the many actions we need to take and i’m happy to expand on it to build a work back schedule.

    I also work full time but always have time for something of this magnitude. I believe there is some commitment amongst us few so think we should get going- as some of you already are with articles and other research assets.

    The first task would be to get a sense of who we all are, what are skills are and how much we want to be involved. Also, I can assure you that I want to help for all the right reasons but as it’s a corporate entity we need to form for DRACO fundraising we should all be okay earning a penny or two. I personally think we’ll be a lot more successful if we do operate as a business. Unfortunately I have no skills or expertise in this area.

    My next steps:
    – Create a Workback Schedule (focused on marketing as this is where my expertise lies)
    – Create a document of team member profiles with skills

    *** I have contacts who might develop us a website
    *** I also might have a lawyer who would help.

  106. CogitoErgoBibo November 29, 2012 9:51 am

    I’m with you Matt… I too have work to contend with and children to care for, but I am happy to continue giving what time I can.

    With Dr. Rider’s great feedback, I am almost done writing an article I hope will give enough explanation of the science to make the importance of DRACO easier to understand.

    Professionally I am in senior management in software delivery, but I am self-taught in the biosciences including Immunology and Targeted Cancer Therapies on which I had an article published earlier this year (intracellular Caspase-Modulating Chimeric Antigen Receptor).

    Thanks Matt..


  107. TonyDewitt November 29, 2012 1:14 pm

    Like Scott, I am also in the software industry; my hope is that DRACO will be able to treat all ERVs (endogenous retroviruses) since many people are suffering with what they are calling MLV, XMRV, HTLV, and the notorious HIV. I like that Matt knows a lawyer, because at the end of the day, whatever we are trying to accomplish here needs to snap together legally with what Doctor Rider’s employer will allow – please let’s all keep this golden requirement in mind.

    Best wishes.

  108. CogitoErgoBibo November 30, 2012 7:23 pm

    Does anyone know a 3-d animator who works in HTML5 (or at least Flash)? I’d like to do have a companion video to my article and I can write the script and do the voice-over once it is complete.

    Matt, I’m completing the last section on viral blocking of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway and once done, it will be ready for “a good edit” :)

  109. TonyDewitt November 30, 2012 11:38 pm


    Viral block of apoptotic pathways? I added a diagram to the HTLVhelp page on Face Book describing exactly that, involving the kinases JAK, IKK, and CDK. If you want, you can copy it from there or I can email it to you.

    Best wishes.

  110. Zlikster December 1, 2012 6:19 am

    I can do audio segment for that video (i work as sound designer and composer for commercial and film) if you need help…

    send VO and video to slo(at)qdepartment.com

  111. CogitoErgoBibo December 1, 2012 8:38 am

    Thanks Tony… I focused on the viral homologue of Bcl-2 and the interaction of the BH domains, but it would be nice to have another example. You can send it to starone@synapticsynthase.com.

    Zlikster… thanks to you as well. That would be great!

    I should have the final draft up tonight.

  112. Matt December 1, 2012 11:22 am


    Sounds good. I hope my editing skills are up to scratch.

    As far as the video, I am beginning to learn flash animation but would not be proficient enough at this time. That said, I definitely have contacts that do 3-D and Flash animation but it’s doubtful they would do this pro-bono…i’ll ask.

    Also, as mentioned, I set-up a form to compile what I see to be useful information on those that would like to be involved. The link will take you to a form that is powered by Google Docs and will populate an excel spreadsheet that we can all use as reference. Hopefully the questions are okay. I can revise with suggestions.


  113. TonyDewitt December 1, 2012 12:23 pm


    I mailed you two diagrams – one showing viral survival via inflammation markers (shown in red) and the other showing the blocking of those inflammation markers via known drugs (BMS-345541 and purvalanol-A).

    Best wishes.

  114. CogitoErgoBibo December 1, 2012 6:28 pm

    Thanks guys… good job on the form Matt.

    For those of us who aren’t in the know Zlikster, what is an audio segment? (thanks for offering in any case)

    My wife reminded me that I speak way to quickly to do the voice-over, so perhaps someone else could step up. Also, though I do have Pro Tools (I write on the guitar, keyboard, etc..), I don’t have the HD version so I don’t think I can work with video anyway…


  115. Zlikster December 1, 2012 8:22 pm

    i do sound design/music/mixdowns for commercials, movies and art installations…if you need help regarding tweaking your VO adding sound effects or music, just shout 😉

    ps, u don’t need HD version of Pro Tools to work with video.

    It is always better to speak slower than faster when doing VO. Much easier to speedup VO than to slow it down (much less noticeable stretch artifacts)

  116. CogitoErgoBibo December 2, 2012 8:41 pm

    Okay all, after incorporating Dr. Rider’s feedback and a quick delving into viral evolution, I finished and uploaded the final draft. The link is below and I’m hoping to get as many eyes on it as possible (can you have a look Doug?)…

    I am planning on tapping every networking contact I have to disseminate the article so I am really hoping you all will give me your thoughts.

    Primarily I am concerned that the science I present is understandable by those who are not schooled on topic. If there is anything that is unclear or any element of biology that would reasonably require an explanation, please let me know.

    Also, if the article leaves you with any lingering questions as to why we expect DRACO to be “the breakthrough” please state those as well.

    Thank you all!


    Take care,

  117. Jaguar88 December 5, 2012 7:21 am

    Hi All-

    I’ve been following this thread for a week or so and would love to help if I can. I have experience in web development (I suggest starting something in WP as it’s easiest and does not require any special skills for any to edit). Is involvement still possible?

    Take care,


  118. MIT Cure December 5, 2012 11:03 am

    CureLauncher responded-They do not have the mission to provide funding to University Researchers. They are focused sending funds to medical researchers at private companies already receiving NIH grants. IP is already licensed and owned at these private companies so researchers can move faster than University researchers.

    Unfortunately we are no closer to helping MIT Draco. You can only help so much before you realize that it takes millions of dollars and is an unachievable goal. I still believe in MIT Draco but I don’t think it will be fully funded. That is the reality and sometimes we have to face the cold, hard truth. I wish I could of helped more but I realize I just don’t have the time for a funding drive effort to take over my life again. Good luck everyone!

  119. TonyDewitt December 5, 2012 11:22 am

    Aren’t we going in circles here?

    (1) We started out saying that the funding would have to come from an actual corporation (even a dummy one) because the school wouldn’t allow public donation funding (and also has proven to be a failure for other treatment developments such as ARF’s HIV vaccine).

    (2) We talked about starting a corporation to provide funding compatible with the school’s by-laws.

    (3) Now we’re back at step 1.

    Can someone PLEASE get a lawyer fluent in this topic to tell us what our options are to move this forward?

    Those of us who are sick don’t want to hear there’s no way forward with this, and we don’t want to wait 20 years for people to get their shit together – I will be dead by then!

  120. CogitoErgoBibo December 5, 2012 11:32 am

    I’m still here Tony and will continue to do all I can for as long as it takes.

    I always knew it would require millions of dollars but I think it’s far from an unreachable goal. If DRACO can fulfill its promise a great number of lives can be saved including children’s. The trick I think is spread good information from the start.

    Example on the pragmatic side:

    Want to cut our government debt\deficit?

    The World Health Organization reports: “In the United States of America, for example, recent estimates put the cost of influenza epidemics to the economy at US$ 71-167 billion per year.”

    And that’s just to pick one out of a great many.

    I’m trying to get the science into an readily understandable form and I’m just about done. We can find a lawyer, but from someone who spent a few years on the Venture Capital trail it’s best to have a compelling message at the onset. If anyone could have a read and let me know if it’s clear, that would be appreciated.


    Take care,

  121. MIT Cure December 5, 2012 11:45 am

    One last update:

    The people at CureLauncher recommended http://www.innovocracy.org/AboutUs/Overview.aspx to solve funding issues for University Researchers.

  122. CogitoErgoBibo December 5, 2012 11:58 am

    Thanks for what you have contributed… I’ll have a look.

  123. Hannon December 6, 2012 9:56 pm

    I’ve been trying to find an update on DRACO for a while now. I came across this article before but had not looked at the comments below. It is very encouraging that there seems to be a group who are trying to fund DRACO.

    I haven’t read all the comments in-depth but have skimmed the last group of them. I don’t pretend to understand the science in any great detail but what I have read seems to be promising.

    A recent post indicated that some of you are losing motivation. These things clearly do not happen as easily as we would hope. I would like to help.

    I am an attorney and think I can provide some assistance. I work in Regulatory Affairs in the energy industry so am not an expert in the formation of corporations but know people who could and would help but I need some more information first.

    Please provide me information or point me in the direction of the requirements that this must be funded from a for-profit corporation. Creating a corporation is not that tough. Raising the money will be though. Do we have a sense of the required funding needed and support for why that level of funding is appropriate?

    Also, who is in contact with Dr. Rider? Do we know why funding has been such an issue? Does Dr. Rider have a roadmap to get this to human trials and/or to the market as a whole? Funding aside, there should be a roadmap.

    Why hasn’t there been more publicity around this? If it is as promising as thought why not a stronger ground swell?

    I’ve been sick for about 1.5 years with something the doctors cannot identify. They think it is viral. I’m not sure if DRACO will be able to help me but it will certainly help others. I am committed to this as long as others are serious about following through to the end. I’m 33 yrs old and this illness has put too many aspects of my life on hold.


  124. CogitoErgoBibo December 7, 2012 4:43 am

    Hi Hannon,

    I’m glad to read of you interest, and we can really use your help. If you would click the link below you will find my article on DRACO. I am doing the final editing now, but it is complete from a content standpoint and should provide the explanation you are looking for.

    Please let me know if it leaves you with questions…



  125. TonyDewitt December 7, 2012 9:13 am

    Hello Hannon,

    You are just what the doctor ordered (forgive the pun), and a God send as well – thank you! You arrived just in the nick of time, since people who are sick like me (and perhaps you as well) don’t want to hear apathy when our lives are on hold, as you put it. I’ve been sick for almost as long as you, and like you, the doctors are stumped. I’m very technical about medical concepts because I want to understand what is killing me and what treatments might save my life. I regularly refer to death and being saved from it because I want to remind everyone on this forum that this is not some flirtatious obsession with academia, but rather the difference between life & death for millions of people, including myself. Your knowledge as a lawyer is key to helping us navigate through the rules & regulations and hopefully moving this forward. If you were eventually able to provide us a legal framework to benefit Doctor Rider’s work, I would provide every spare penny I had, and get everyone I know to do the same. Please feel free to contact me directly about your health situation, I am not a doctor but I’ve educated myself enough to know what’s going on medically, and I’d be happy to impart my knowledge to you in layman’s terms. I estimate that I have about six more years to live, and I’d rather spend that time fighting this thing & finding a cure than crying every day.

    Everyone else: because of my situation, I’d appreciate all of you refraining from being less than enthusiastic about moving Doctor Rider’s work forward. We are all here for the same reason, and all on the same team, so bringing negativity to this forum is not only counter productive, but also very offensive to those of us who are sick & looking at death. Trying putting yourself in my (or Hannon’s) shoes before you decide to write something negative please. Do unto others, as the saying goes.

    Best wishes.

  126. TonyDewitt December 7, 2012 9:20 am

    CogitoErgoBibo – I just noticed your comment on December 5th about still being here & continuing to do all you can for as long as it takes – thank you from the bottom of my heart! That was the best birthday present I could ask for!

    Best wishes.

  127. CogitoErgoBibo December 7, 2012 10:09 am

    Tony – You are very welcome and I meant it. As soon as I’m done with the article, Doug and I are going to work on putting together the video. We spoke a bit on strategy the other day as well.

    I spend virtually every evening after my little ones are asleep with my nose in bioscience textbooks… Odd, I know, but I’m driven on out of facination and the notion that if there is a chance I can find something that helps alleviate suffering, I am compelled to work to find it.

    After reading his paper I immediately realized the genius of Dr. Rider’s work and I’m honored to be part of the fight to bring out its full potential.

    (Happy Birthday by the way! And many many more!)

    Take care,

  128. doug December 7, 2012 10:39 am

    I’m happy to report that we’ve got one of the best video guys we could possibly ask for donating his talents, and was I just able cajole a professional marketer into agreeing to work on this as well. Please let me give your paper a thorough going-over today, Scott, and I’ll help pitch it to whatever worthwhile venue might take it…

  129. CogitoErgoBibo December 7, 2012 10:44 am

    Thanks Doug… you are the man!

    Please use the link below though as I’ve taken part of the day to working on it and the version I just uploaded contains many necessary edits.


  130. Hannon December 7, 2012 11:08 am

    I’m excited that there is some movement happening here. I haven’t had a chance to look at the documents you’ve referenced above and the paper you’ve put together. I’m in meetings for most of today but will take a look tonight or this weekend. I’ll also talk to someone about creating a corporation. There are going to be tax implications and since we’re raising money we’re going to want directors and officers (D&O) insurance. I have some people in mind for the tax issues and the insurance. As luck woul have it I used to work for a broker and a friend from law school still works there. It will cost some money to incorporate and get insurance. If everything looks on the up and up I can put up some of the money.

    I pencilled some ideas out so please look at the outline below. Sorry, I’m late to the game but I’d like to join the core group moving forward on this. I’ll get up to speed this weekend.

    Next Steps:
    1. Establish core group
    a. Hannon Rasool

    2. Corporation – Name? The DRACO Foundation
    a. Create corporation
    b. The officers and employees of the corporation will not receive a salary. If we must receive a salary to be considered a corporation for MIT partnering purposes we will receive one cent annually as salary.
    c. D&O insurance
    i. Can we get Dr. Rider to be part of the board? It’ll lend credibility to the corporation
    d. Finances
    e. Taxes
    f. Mission Statement / Structure
    i. We must retain a level of control over the process. My understanding is that at some point Dr. Rider and/or MIT will need to license the drug to a pharmaceutical company to run testing and trials. I’m not a conspiracy theorist against big pharma but at the same time I want to make sure everything is done to move this forward
    g. Roadmap for DRACO
    i. What has been done thus far?
    ii. What has been done since the mid 2011 articles?
    iii. What needs to be done to get this to human testing and eventually market?
    h. Determine level of funding required
    i. Number of shares – $10 each – minimum investment is $10
    i. Corporation will track shareholders name, email and number of shares
    ii. Should be as transparent as possible while still protecting shareholder privacy
    iii. Inform investors that they have the ability to save lives and aid in the advancement of a cure. This is not a treatment nor a vaccine but an actual cure for those suffering.
    iv. Inform investors that any money the corporation makes from the commercialization of DRACO will go back to shareholders. The larger an investment the greater the return. Must be transparent that this drug may not work and even if it does there may be no profit by the corporation. Speculative.
    j. Partner with Dr. Rider and MIT to the extent possible
    k. Create bank account which needs at least two signatures to access funds. We need to ensure that the money can only be accessed for its intended purpose.

    3. Marketing and Fund Raising
    a. Website – Need someone to run website for us
    i. Must look professional and legitimate
    ii. Payment portal so investors can pay with credit cards
    1. For larger donations we would want the person to contact us directly so the credit card processing company does not take a percentage.
    iii. Include purpose
    iv. Strong narrative as to why this needs funding
    1. Game changer
    2. Save and improve the quality of millions of lives
    v. Why a corporation is necessary to partner with MIT and/or Dr. Rider
    vi. Overview of bacteria vs. viruses – Can we link something here? Maybe a graphic or video
    vii. Overview of how DRACO works
    viii. What DRACO has worked on and in what settings. What DRACO has not yet been tested on (ie, humans)
    ix. The possibility that DRACO may not prove to be effective and/or safe in humans
    x. Investment structure
    xi. Links to the PLoS research paper

    b. Email and Facebook everyone we know. Try to create a grassroots movement for those who want to help find a cure and those who want to invest in the hopes of eventually making a profit.
    c. Video for YouTube???

  131. TonyDewitt December 7, 2012 11:30 am

    CogitoErgoBibo – thanks for your kind words & birthdays wishes, I appreciate everything you’ve done even though you don’t have any skin in the game, as the saying goes.


    I love your layout of what needs to be done – regarding your FaceBook suggestion, I would be happy to create a FaceBook page for DRACO, but would like to get everyone’s suggestions on a name that would match the corporation’s name. Should I call the FaceBook page “The DRACO Corporation” or do we have a more marketable name? When I created the FaceBook page for HTLV, I called it “HTLVhelp” – feel free to take a look at it & what I’ve done there with medical diagrams & easy to read commentary.

    Best wishes.

  132. Hannon December 7, 2012 11:34 am

    I’m open to the name. Also, we need to make sure we can use the name DRACO and are not infringing on anything. I like using DRACO so it makes searches easier.

    Also, I’m g-chatting now with someone who may be able to create the corporation and be our General Counsel.

  133. TonyDewitt December 7, 2012 11:44 am


    That all sounds great! Yes, even the name itself that we choose might have legal ramifications (thank God that you are a lawyer) that I would have never imagined. This reminds me of an episode of the Brady Bunch where they try to start their own toothpaste company, not knowing all the legalities of doing so.

    Best wishes.

  134. Hannon December 7, 2012 12:08 pm

    Good work on the paper you’ve put together. I still have some threshold questions you may be able to help me with regarding the corporation aspect and other areas.

    1. Can you point me in the direction of the requirement that funding come from a corporation and not a charitable organization?

    2. Who is in contact with Dr. Rider?

    3. Can we verify that our proposed corporate structure will satisfy Dr. Rider and MIT?

    4. You reference a patent application by Dr. Rider. What is the status of the application?

    5. Will the patent be held by Dr. Rider, MIT or both?

    6. Personally, monetary gain is low on my list but we need to understand how we are going to monetize this, if at all. If we’re stating our corporation will sell shares and may one day realize a profit I’d like to understand how. My hope is that people will fund this because it is the right thing to do. I want to make sure we’re making accurate representations. If there is zero possibility to monetize for our corporation that is fine but we need to state that. This will also limit our ability to position this as an investment opportunity.

    7. Can we reach out to Dr. Rider and see if he has any interest in being a board member or officer of the corporation?

    8. Is there any peer reviewed data on DRACO?

    9. Is it accurate to state that the US government only funds basic research? Don’t they fund, through NIH, clinical studies and more advanced research? I have no idea but this seems odd.

    10. Do we know why no pharmaceutical companies have approached MIT or Dr. Rider?

    11. I would really like to know of any progress in the last year and a half on DRACO. I have not come across anything which describes any recent advances or sucess.


  135. CogitoErgoBibo December 7, 2012 12:24 pm

    Hi Hannon,

    I have to run out shortly but just to hit a few of your questions… Doug and I are both in contact with Dr. Rider and as to the funding source requirements, please see Dr. Rider’s response which Doug provided above… below is an excerpt.

    My article is sourced and you can find Dr. Rider’s published paper here: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0022572

    “At this point, what would make the biggest positive difference by far is if a company (anything from a large pharmaceutical company to a VC-funded startup, or anything in between) were willing to license our DRACO technology and partner with us in further developing it. We have been talking to several companies about that, but companies are very cautious about doing anything new in this current business environment, and we would really like to find more companies, and more eager companies, to talk to. Anything that you or your readers could do to steer potentially interested companies in our direction would be a tremendous help and would be greatly appreciated.”

  136. TonyDewitt December 7, 2012 12:53 pm


    For your #11 above, I would say that progress is measured by each virus successfully treated in Doctor Rider’s research. I believe the last total was 15 viruses successfully treated, with the goal being successful treatment of all viruses. Perhaps a monthly status report would be a good idea to keep current patrons informed and attract new patrons as well? Obviously progress can’t be made without financial backing, and vice versa, so it’s very catch-22 and chicken & the egg :)

    Best wishes.

  137. PSchald December 7, 2012 1:37 pm

    I’m not too familiar with these things but… how plausible would it be for foreign citizens to chip in should you actually get this corporation established? Would there be a lot of hoops to jump through?

  138. TonyDewitt December 7, 2012 1:44 pm


    I have to imagine that once anyone is allowed to contribute, anyone would be allowed to do so, foreign or domestic.

    Best wishes.

  139. MIT Cure December 7, 2012 2:35 pm

    Attention Doug and Others:

    I have a new update from CureLauncher. At first the contact that wrote back wasn’t the President so I wrote the President and described everything going on with Dr. Rider from Doug’s posts in this forum.

    The President wrote me and said this

    “Sounds like the university is working very hard to make funding him difficult. But cureLauncher.com is a company. We can aggregate the funds from many individuals and send them from our corporation, if that works for the university. Otherwise, we are happy to work with any university researcher. and if they wish the funds to run through the university, which then may siphon off up to 50% of the funds for university overhead- well- we can do it, it’s just not very efficient economically.”

    Basically he is saying that CureLauncher can be that company when Dr. Rider was saying the funds need to come from a company. We can use some of the steps I described to go on a major marketing campaign pointing to the CureLauncher funding site and at least get Dr. Rider some funds.

    The President would like to talk to someone from our group. Since I don’t have the time for this right now I think that person should be Doug.

    Doug what is your email? I will email you the contact phone number for the President of Cure Launcher and inform him that you can talk on behalf of the group that is trying to raise funds for MIT DRACO.

    Great news!

  140. TonyDewitt December 7, 2012 2:41 pm

    Hey M,

    I thought you were recently saying that this wasn’t going to work at all and that you didn’t have time for this? And frankly I don’t think your idea is so great, especially if CL might be siphoning money off of our effort. I still feel that a TRULY independent corporation is the way to go. Other such funding organizations have failed miserably trying to help other proposed cures (ARF’s HIV vaccine is my favorite example).

  141. Hannon December 7, 2012 2:57 pm

    I’m new to this group but if I may speak frankly I do not think any idea should be dismissed at this time.

    It’s encouraging that an established company wants to help and we’re in contact with the president. Obviously, we should look into this company and its reputation but they may be able to help. Someone from this group should as least speak to them.

    I am happy to lend my time and effort and can help us set up a corporation but that costs money and takes time. Further, we’ll need to purchase insurance, have an attorney, tax person, web designer, etc. It can be done and I’ll take the lead in doing this but let’s look at every idea.

    I would still like to establish a core group and possibly have a conference call. I can provide a call-in number if needed.

    Also, I’d like a better understanding of what Dr. Rider meant by licensing the DRACO technology to a corporation and working with that corporation. Is the expectation that the corporation would provide more than financing? Would that corporation also provide infrastructure and labs for testing? This is an important distinction.

    Thank you,

  142. MIT Cure December 7, 2012 2:57 pm

    Whoa Tony I thought everyone would be excited. Remember all the crowd sourcing platforms take a small percentage off the entire funding amount to pay for their site/business. Kickstarter and all the rest……

    That 50% thing isn’t what CureLauncher would take–that is what many Univerities take when they are given grants. It is common for Univerities to take large percentages of grants to pay for administrative/overhead feeds. The CureLauncher President was saying we should go the company route and we could use CureLauncher as simply the funding platform. I don’t know if you have checked out the site but it is pretty cool. It works like the Pepsi Refresh and makes the researcher submit a video and a synopsis of the project.

    I didn’t mean to say I wouldn’t help at all. As soon as we get the project up on a site or a corporation is started I will email all contacts and do a marketing blast. However, I know that the hundreds that contributed to previous campaigns will be very cautious about giving to some random corporation. They would understand CureLauncher and the fact it is a funding platform for good causes and I think giving wouldn’t be an issue.

    I think we should be open to multiple options. LIke you I want the research funding. I don’t think a 20 minute phone call between CureLauncher and Doug would hurt anything.

  143. CogitoErgoBibo December 7, 2012 3:28 pm

    I agree, we should explore as many avenues as we can, and even engage multiple if that is feasible and beneficial. I agree with Tony that we don’t want to suffer an extractive arrangement, however, I think we should look closely to determine what they are offering, and maybe, given the prestige of the researcher and his institution, we might be able to secure alternative arrangements.

    I think there may be a good reason that Dr. Rider would like to go with the contracting arrangement. Hannon, thanks for offering your conference bridge… maybe we can discuss it on Tuesday afternoon after lunch? Any other suggested times?

  144. Hannon December 7, 2012 3:33 pm

    Tuesday is pretty open for me. What time zone are you all in? I’m in San Diego, CA.

    Also, can we at the very least identify the core team? That is an important first step so we know who is committed to seeing this through.

    Seems like it is Scott (aka CognitoErgoBibo), Doug, Tony Dewitt. Is that accurate? Should anyone been taken off or added to the list?

  145. doug December 7, 2012 3:34 pm

    MIT Cure — I sent an email to the address you registered on process.org. Thanks — doug

  146. doug December 7, 2012 3:36 pm

    Perhaps we should set up a google group so that we can exchange edit-able documents and work on our to-do lists without seeing them buried in a linear thread…?

  147. CogitoErgoBibo December 7, 2012 3:43 pm

    Doug and I are on the east coast… I was thinking about 1:00 PM.

    Doug knows better than I who all should be included on the call. A Google group sounds good Doug as long as we don’t mind Google looking at everything we put up. I have a SharePoint site through Office 365 but I have to check and see if I can set people outside the domain up as contributors.

  148. TonyDewitt December 7, 2012 3:45 pm

    I’ll explain why I think we need to do something non-mainstream unlike these ‘funding’ entities – they don’t have great track records, and they are out to make money for themselves. You can go to the ARF’s HIV vaccine site and see that they have ONE PERCENT of the money they need to get their stuff off of the ground, and it’s been like that for YEARS. The cold hard truth (to use your words) is to leverage capitalism to get this done, which means a corporation. Otherwise, this will look just like every other ‘funding’ effort (I cannot even stand the word ‘funding’) and go nowhere (again like ARF’s HIV vaccine funding effort).

    Corporations have goals, corporations have metrics against those goals, corporations have a mission statement, and corporations stand out more than these funding efforts that look like charities. From an attraction perspective, people are more attracted to corporations than charities. If someone with large amounts of money was looking for a place to spend lots of money, it would be spent on a corporation before a charity. Again, just the cold hard truth. I know that my opinion is just that, and thanks for hearing me out.

    Best wishes.

  149. CogitoErgoBibo December 7, 2012 6:01 pm

    MITCure… thank you by the way! Regardless of the outcome, that was exciting news!

  150. Matt December 8, 2012 11:05 am


    I’m in 100%. I can be e-mailed at jrobinson.matt@gmail.com. I’m in EST (Toronto Canada).

    I had setup a form to get an idea of the team and our skills but only Tony and I have filled it in to date. Perhaps I asked the wrong questions.

    I’m happy to help in anyway I can.



  151. TonyDewitt December 8, 2012 12:05 pm


    Like Matt, if there’s something you need to discuss with me, Im reachable at WoogyModel at Yahoo dot Com.

    Best wishes.

  152. Matt December 9, 2012 9:09 am

    Cure Launcher looks legit. Worth Exploring.

    I’m definitely aligned with looking at and evaluating all of our options so that we can make the best decision. I know there are those that are suffering and are frustrated but we’ll only succeed as a team if we act logically rather than emotionally.

    Having read every comment here, and more information across the web than I would care to admit, I’m confident that we can do something very special here.

    We just need the leadership.. of which i’m hoping Hannon can provide at this stage. We all need tasks and to get organized.

    As Doug should have everyone’s e-mail address i’m hoping he can create the aforementioned Google group so that we can more clearly outline objectives, tasks, press releases, video’s, etc.. Basically we need to start collaborating on work rather than all of this wishy-washy dialogue. I mean no offence in that and realize things take time and questions need to be answered to figure out how to proceed but there needs to be more accountability and organization.

    – Doug and CEB–have Hannon’s questions been positioned to Dr.Rider?
    – Where are we with article? (i’m happy to give it an edit) –jrobinson.matt@gmail.com
    – Where are we with the video? (I don’t do 3-D animation but may be able to help)
    – Do we think we’ll need a website (I can ask around)
    – etc…

    It just seems things need to be made more clear…If I had all of your e-mails I could try and find the right solutions within Google or another service.

    Most importantly, I hope everyone had a great weekend…life is meant to be enjoyed and that’s really what all of this is about– happiness for us and those that suffer from a virus.

  153. doug December 9, 2012 10:05 am

    hi matt — either scott or both scott & I are going to talk to dr. rider this week I believe.
    I went through scott’s paper & i also sent it to a professional editor friend of mine with zero science background to see what he thinks. I’ll get that back from him this evening and I’ll help pitch it out to different publications.
    I’ve got us a great 3d video guy who has agreed to take the project.
    I think we definitely need a website and I hope dr. Rider can check in with us regularly for updates.
    When I’m back to my computer (and not typing on my phone as now) I’ll set up the google group.
    I have a marketing professional reading over the draco material and outlining a marketing plan which I believe she’ll have to me tomorrow.

  154. Matt December 9, 2012 10:12 am

    Thanks for the update..amazing work Doug.

    I’m also in the marketing field and would be happy to collaborate.

  155. Hannon December 9, 2012 10:25 am

    Hi guys,

    I’m here to help in any way possible. My email is hjrasool at gmail dot com (hjrasool@gmail.com) Please add me to your email group. I would like to contribute to the good work already done.

    I’ve read through the comments here and on some other websites. It seems that there are people ready and willing to financially contribute to this cause if we create a place for them to do so.

    As I’ve stated before I’m happy to create a corporation if that is necessary. I think a website is essential. I know, personally, if an organization does not have a website I view it with a bit of skepticism. It’s the time we live in. Also, we need a way for people to donate on the website. That part isn’t too tough if we have a web designer. You can link credit card and/or paypal to it.

    When you speak to Dr. Rider could you please find out more as to the current status as well as what they need? In reviewing his email it seems that funding is certainly key for him but so is additional support. MIT’s facilities may not be sufficient for testing on larger animals. Funding alone will not solve that problem for him. We need an entity with the infrastructure. As far as a timeline goes, funding aside, how long until they outgrow their current facilities?

    I’ve been doing some research and am wondering what, if any, restrictions they have with partnering with other universities. I’ve across unversities which have departments on translational medicine – taking basic research into trials and eventually to patients’ bedsides. Sorry for all the questions but I’m trying to reign in issues.

    In my humble opinion marketing is essential but we need a place where people can financially contribute too. I’m sick and my attention is undivided in this matter but we all know how attention can waiver. We’ve all seen something and been moved or inspired but that fades. I would think we want the initial wave of marketing to inspire people and allow them to donate immediately. We can’t “move” people and then say “wait a few months until we give you a place to donate.”

    I think we need to:

    1. find out exactly what Dr. Rider needs
    2. have the rules on who can partner with Dr. Rider / MIT. I’ll have a coporate attorney review but I need something more than an email from Dr. Rider. It was very useful but I need something formal we can review.

    Thank you,

  156. CogitoErgoBibo December 9, 2012 10:32 am

    Hi Matt,

    I sent my article to the email address you provided.


    I know what you are getting at. I have helped setup and created ventures in the tech sector and having spent a few years on the VC trail, I have a good sense of what’s needed.

    I’ll be sure to bring up your request with Dr. Rider when Doug and I speak with him. Perhaps he and I can colaborate on an Executive Summary but at the very least a letter of intent from the standpoint of his offer of his teams services in an effort to translate DRACO.

    If anyone would like more information on my background, my personal site is http://www.synpaticsynthase.com

    Take care all,

  157. CogitoErgoBibo December 9, 2012 10:34 am

    (and thanks Doug… I am really looking forward to your comments and those of your friend. Please pass along my thanks to him as well)

  158. doug December 9, 2012 11:07 am

    hi hannon — my impression is that, with the proper funding, dr. rider will be able to carry out his research using MIT facilities, but the question of at what point he outgrows those labs is unknown to me now.
    i agree that we need to set up a place where people can donate immediately. it certainly isn’t difficult to set up a website where people can donate using paypal or another 3rd party service, but i know nothing about setting up an organization with financial transparency so that if we attract a much larger investor than your typical paypal investor we can show exactly how much of it (if not the single donation itself, then the aggregate sum of all donations) went to the project. the goal, of course, is 100%, but we may run into circumstances where we simply can’t beg something out of somebody on a pro bono basis and we’ll have to use the funds we have. we need somebody who knows the legalese to put this in our disclaimer.
    also, we have to consider what happens to what we set up in the event that a large biotech company company comes along and wants exclusivity.
    with these things in mind, i think we can still try to aim for having a company set up by the end of this month.

  159. Hannon December 9, 2012 11:19 am

    I think the impetus will be on us to update investors and others on a monthly basis as to how much we’ve raised. I would love it if we can give 100% to MIT. I am willing to put up some money, within reason, to create the corporation. I know there are some incorporation fees we’ll need to pay.

    Before I can get started I need some formal requirements from MIT / Dr. Rider as to what type of corporation or entity can partner with them. When you speak to Dr. Rider (or before) can you get me formal document with their requirements?

    I can set up the corporation and bank account. I want to create some safeguards around the bank account part. There should be a mechanism in which no one person can withdraw from the account. It should require two or more people to authorize a withdrawl or transfer to make sure no one embezzles. I don’t think that would happen but in these types of matters it is best to err on the side of caution.


  160. TonyDewitt December 9, 2012 11:11 pm

    As I catch up with everything here & on Google documents, I have a few points I’d like to make:

    (1) Hannon – I agree with your “update” idea, and made the same suggestion in my post on the 7th (“monthly status report”). People providing money want regularly periodic news on what’s going on, and potential new investors as well. Whether than happens weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly would be for the researchers to decide.

    (2) Setting up a corporation is VERY easy, it’s been automated on the internet, like everything else. I’ve done it for my ex, and anyone who can visit any popular “set up a corporation” web site can do it as well. Same goes for setting up a web site.

    (3) Great job on the Draco Committee spreadsheet!

    (4) I’m standing by my previous criticism of “funding” sites, I feel that a corporation is the best way to go, both in terms of marketability, credibility, attraction, and most importantly, compatibility – please recall that the by-laws of the college won’t allow a charity to just hand a check over. We need the corporation to be the correct & legal interface to patronizing this research.

    (5) I’ve worked at companies that continue to run on total venture capital (i.e. investor money) and haven’t made a dime to this day (some as old as 8 years). The investors understand up front and fully that the thing they’re investing in is not going to show any profit for the long term, but are willing to sink major money into it to be part of the success when it does finally manifest. I’m taking the time to explain this to everyone because someone wrote that a corporation is a bad idea because investing requires a return on investment, like a bank account, and that’s just not true. Lots of venture capitalists are willing to put millions of dollars into a corporation with a great idea for the long haul, which again underscores the need to have a corporation – these same people with extremely deep pockets aren’t going to turn their cash over the some funding site, but would go balls deep on a corporation dedicated to the same exact purpose.

    In summary, anyone can start a corporation, web site, face book page, etc – and of these are all absolutely necessary. The only high end legal talent we need is to dictate how said corporation correctly interfaces to patronize the research, and how money invested by investors is tracked (by dollars or sold shares). Any lawyer with a venture capitalism background should be able to answer this in seconds, so please anyone who knows anyone like this get us answers.

    Best wishes.

  161. aearl December 10, 2012 5:02 am

    Good morning. I work for Stephen Goldner, President of cureLauncher. It sounds like you all are very passionate about Dr. Rider’s work. cureLauncher works just like kickstarter – but crowdfunds only for NIH level scientists and projects. Just to clarify a few comments above – if Dr. Rider used our service, he would directly receive 91% of all funds raised through our website. Our business receives 6%, and the credit card companies take 3%. Everything is completely transparent. Please visit http://www.curelauncher.com, ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow our projects on Twitter. Please let Dr. Rider know that I can be reached at aearl@cureLauncher.com if you have any questions. Mr. Goldner’s email is sgoldner@cureLauncher.com. Kind regards, Amy Earl, Project Manager

  162. Matt December 10, 2012 7:07 am

    If you believe this to all be so simple than whats stopping you? It should not be hard to find a high end lawyer to answer your questions if all it would take is “seconds”.

    I only speak for myself but I want to ensure everything is done right from the legalities and security of the corporation to the website and marketing to investor relations, etc… There are people dying and suffering and time is of the essence but I am confident in Hannon’s vision and connections to help us create a legitimate corporation (not a 1-click corporation).

    I hope I can find a team to do the website and would push to have real time funding reporting in effect (like KickStarter has). I have built a google group thats in testing but hope we can all collaborate on projects there very soon.

    As far as fundraising..I don’t underestimate the challenges of marketing but I am confident we can raise huge dollars for our corporation especially if it is an investment opportunity. This surely takes some time and organization to setup to make sure it’s secure, legal and insured.

    I understand your frustrations but right now I am incredibly optimistic of this group and the steps that are being taken. It’s great to see.

    Keep up the good work all.

    – Matt

  163. Matt December 10, 2012 8:36 am

    Also, my quick apologies as I created a Google Group having not seen that Doug had beat me to it. I only sent out invites to a couple of you but please ignore as we will be using Dougs group.



  164. TonyDewitt December 10, 2012 10:29 am


    Perhaps you’ve confused me saying that establishing a corporation, web site, etc is easy and that on the other hand, answering questions about corporate / venture capital law requires legal expertise:

    I wrote “Any lawyer with a venture capitalism background should be able to answer this in seconds”.

    That means that *I* am not a lawyer with knowledge of venture capital – that’s what’s stopping me, and the rest of us as well. I hope that answers your question. I also suggested that if we could find such a lawyer we would have said answers.

    Best wishes.

  165. Ivan December 12, 2012 10:14 pm

    I just came across this forum recently. I think Clinton Foundation will be a good source of funding towards DRACO research. Magic Johnson also has a foundation towards funding HIV cure research. As mentioned earlier no opportunity should be left out. I think CureLauncher should be contacted as well as registering the cooperation. This is a great Cause! MIT researchers will need all the money they can lay hands on.

  166. CogitoErgoBibo December 13, 2012 5:54 am

    Thanks, Ivan, for the good info… Several of us have engaged on the process of incorporation and planning.

    Take care,

  167. TonyDewitt December 13, 2012 11:42 am


    All good ideas that you provided there, thanks. From the start it was clear that the only entity that could pass the regulatory requirements for advancing this treatment was, is, and always will be a corporation – I don’t make the rules, but I am good at following them. Please don’t consider this a form of chastisement, but more of a annotation for future readers that a corporation is the *only* interface to moving this research forward. That being the undeniable case, if some savvy legal person can then interface the charities you’ve mentioned to the corporation I’ve mentioned, then everything snaps together nicely. If not, charities are out of the picture. And frankly, I was getting nauseous hearing about kick starter and cure launcher. Those type of profit skimming pseudo charity organizations did nothing for advancing ARF’s HIV vaccine, so the case has been proven.

    Best wishes.

  168. Matt December 13, 2012 5:11 pm

    Cure launcher or KickStarter (we can’t use KickStarter) wouldn’t be the reasons we would fail or why ARF’s HIV vaccine failed. Simply, it’s marketing–telling the right people with the right connections and pulling at the heart strings to ensure they donate.

    Regardless we are going a better route—it will just take more time :)

  169. Matt December 13, 2012 5:18 pm

    Of course our website will still resemble a KickStarter project and have the same functionality.
    Our difference-99.9% of the money goes to dr.rider :)

    We should all be excited about that—it would be a first really! :)

  170. TonyDewitt December 13, 2012 5:18 pm


    Since we can’t use them, that would be equivalent to failure. And ARF’s HIV vaccine is a valid example of how the funding model has failed miserably. Let’s use the facts at hand of what can’t or doesn’t work so we can not waste time and energy.

    Best wishes.

  171. Matt December 13, 2012 5:30 pm

    KickStarter was never a suggestion (KickStarter esque was). We could you cure launcher and be raising funds tomorrow.

    Again, we’re going a better route now but I’m concerned your misguided at the steps and work involved.
    We’ll need to be brilliant to raise the funds needed. I think the key learning from AFR’s vaccine is that rational people would fund aids charities with practical and realistic objectives (I.e; education and condoms in the developing world) rather than a vaccine that likely wont work.

    DRACO stands a chance as its broad spectrum and we may get the $5 dollars from loads of people who recall that nasty stomach virus. Beyond that we’ll get the $50’s from your HSV,HIV,HTLV,HCV,etc… Sufferers. Our marketing will try and frame this rather than an HTLV and HIV cure…though HIV will be a definite focus for PR.

  172. TonyDewitt December 13, 2012 5:54 pm


    Actually mentioning approaches that can’t or haven’t worked is what I consider to be misguided. For example, you jumped the shark on the proof that charity funding doesn’t work by saying it was the fault that the particular therapy (in this case a vaccine) won’t likely work – bad move on your part, especially if you’re wrong. By “thine own words”, you are practically dooming your own effort. In other words, I’m sure the ARF people wouldn’t appreciate your pessimism anymore than Doctor Rider would if someone said his approach likely won’t work. Try flying straight at the problem with what works instead of what doesn’t or can’t work, and incurring bad karma along the way.

    Best wishes.

  173. Matt December 13, 2012 6:02 pm

    I was suggesting how the public viewed ARF’s vaccine and will probably view DRACO–a long shot not worth tossing money away at(the valley of death). It’s wise we know this so we can evolve our approach. I hopeDRACO does work…I’m counting on it. Not pessimistic at all.

    Personally I’m not sure what you’re currently bringing to the table either than providing such distractions as this ‘misunderstanding’ of a debate.
    Put in the work other than constantly providing flawed information and guidance. None of us are experts in this…we need you to be a work horse as you have the most at stake.

    I’m trying to help!

  174. CogitoErgoBibo December 13, 2012 6:23 pm

    In my opinion we can’t just go Kickstarter clone. We can’t look like some guys who want people to fund their movie about tree frog mating habits. :)

    Yes, we are expecting to pull in the grassroots funding… however, there are big time, and very serious organizations that fund AIDS research. If we don’t eminate the level of competance we possess with the corporations name and the web site, we could end up cutting off some sources…

  175. Matt December 13, 2012 6:49 pm

    Makes sense to me CEB.

    I’m coming from a position where I work with high level graphic designers and programmers who I’m asking to design a free website. I’ll develop an SRS but it’d be nice to provide very clear direction in the form of a ‘model’ site. It wouldn’t be a clone…just similar unless there are other sites we like.

  176. CogitoErgoBibo December 13, 2012 6:56 pm

    Indeed Matt…

    I’ve worked with the same kind of people for almost 20 years and I am champion of well defined and formally expressed requirements.

    We just have to grab the functionality you have located, add/subtract to it if necessary and then put it into a form that is more aligned with our efforts.

  177. CogitoErgoBibo December 13, 2012 7:10 pm

    Actually, I just looked around the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation site (it had been while since I had seen it)…

    There are good ideas for functionality there as well… “Share your Story”, for example, is a great idea. It would be great if the site because a community meeting place…

  178. Hannon December 13, 2012 9:16 pm

    Thanks for the comments Ivan. As others have mentioned we’re working towards getting this funded and believe it could help countless numbers of people.

    Kickstarter and CureLauncher are most likely not the best options for us but if the other organizations which you mentioned are able to provide funding either directly to MIT or via our corporation that would be great.

    The more funding we can ultimately get to Dr. Rider the better!

    Thanks for the interest.

  179. Ivan December 13, 2012 10:23 pm

    I had read most of the inputs from you all. And your statement below
    “That being the undeniable case, if some savvy legal person can then interface the charities you’ve mentioned to the corporation I’ve mentioned, then everything snaps together nicely.” is exactly what I had in mind when I mentioned other foundations. This would be the most appropriate route to raise money fast. The cooperation will have to approach these other charity foundations for funding.

  180. TonyDewitt December 14, 2012 11:21 am


    Thank you! I am relieved that we are on the same wavelength.

    Best wishes.

  181. glenronach January 7, 2013 8:25 am

    Hello to all of you!
    I have been reading this discussion for while. And I am just shocked with the whole story!
    Such a genius as a Dr.Rider have to able to work on great human problems such as
    HIV , CANCER and you name it. And have UNLIMITED amount of funding while he is young and capable to produce ideas. It’s a shame that it’s going at such slow pace.
    Please , guys come up with something , so we can donate money. I am middle class guy ready to donate up to 500-1000 dollars per year and can recruit many of my friends to do the same. Donation through the Pay Pal would be great.
    P.S. Don’t you think that you can talk with GOOGLE guys, they are MIT alumni as well. And they have some money ( i can assume).
    P.S> Can we talk with Amazon guys. I would like to see the button when I am buying something on Amazon-‘Donate money to dr.Rider reaserch[view details] ”
    I would donate money like there is NO TOMORROW.
    ready to donate – Eugene.

  182. CogitoErgoBibo January 10, 2013 6:06 pm

    Hello all,

    My article is complete… http://blog.readingthinkingandwriting.com/?p=500

    No professional edit, but I think I was pretty thorough. Dr. Rider read it early on and like what he read, so hopefully it will be well received.

    Take care,

  183. TonyDewitt January 10, 2013 6:10 pm


    Thank you for the article, and I am happy that Doctor Rider liked what read.

    Best wishes.

  184. redoak14 February 18, 2013 10:50 am

    First of all, great work everyone who has contributed to jump starting this process. Much appreciated! Are there any updates on where one can go to donate? Or any updates from Dr Rider on his research?

  185. Ivan March 30, 2013 11:14 am

    Now that Bill Gates wants to fund development of condoms, we can attempt to contact him on this issue. Even though “prevention is better than cure,”
    in this case however, it is better to fund cure than prevention. Could anyone please inform us on the progress so far with the formation of the corporation talked about? Thanks

  186. Hannon March 31, 2013 8:33 am

    We have encountered some hurdles in creating a corporation. We are currently looking at Medstartr as an option to fund DRACO. We still want to see this happen so are pursuing both options.

    As of this moment, we need to review the CRADA from MIT to ensure Medstartr is a viable option. We’ll then go from there.


  187. CogitoErgoBibo March 31, 2013 6:17 pm

    Hi Ivan,

    No doubt you are correct! It’s baffling that the Gates foundation would proceed that way.

    I began work on a paper that will describe why DRACO looks like it will stop an HIV infection. I am waiting on Dr. Rider, who is busy on grant apps, to get back to me on my approach.

    As to the CRADA, Dr. Rider sent me the contact info and I sent a request for the information last week. She was out during the beginning of the week, but did not get back to me when she returned. I will call Tuesday (and then escalate if necessary) if I don’t see anything by then.

    Just goes to show… you don’t need a conspiracy when people can read about what looks like it most likely be a historic end to viral infections, and yet they do next to nothing.

    (in case you missed above) By the way, if you can spread the work, I wrote an article that Dr. Rider reviewed… it describes, not only DRACO, but also gives a lay presentation on the molecular biology behind it.

    Please spread it as wide as you can… the more attention there is on it, the more likely something will get done… this is one hell of a squeaky wheel 😉


    Take care,

  188. Ivan April 4, 2013 12:50 pm

    Thanks Hannon and Scott. I will definitely spread the word as much as I could. I read your article Scott. I thought it was wonderful. I had gone as far as writing the president about Dr. Riders work. No replies, off course. This is however not the time to give up. Let me know what else I can do.


  189. CogitoErgoBibo April 4, 2013 6:21 pm

    Thank you Ivan, it took quite a bit of research since I’m focused on targeted cancer therapies. Both Doug and I have our lawyers working on getting the company setup so we’ll keep everyone informed. I have a meeting with mine tomorrow morning (a good friend and brilliant mind).

    If you can find articles discussing viral infection such as the one on NBC News this morning, and post a link to my article that would be helpful. So far, with that type of action (and someone posting it to “hacker news” which was HUGE), a few thousand people have read it… and several people have offered to help, and two sent letters to the Gates Foundation.

    I will keep doing what I’m doing, but, as I mentioned, I don’t care by whom it gets done… just that it gets done right and people’s lives benefit.

  190. killersoft May 5, 2013 7:39 pm

    Just spotted this link for some DRACO information :

    Any luck with a startup company to help sponser Dr Rider’s work ?

  191. Matt May 26, 2013 5:01 am

    As a very quick update. We do now have a facebook page-> https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-DRACO-Fund/463390007079550?fref=ts

    Please do like it. This page will only supplement our donation site which is currently in progress.



  192. CogitoErgoBibo March 5, 2014 7:52 pm

    Dr.Rider told me that DRACO has been nominated for the 2013 Katerva Award inthe Human Development category!

    It is also eligible for the people’schoice award for which voting will be open from March 7th to March28th.

    Please use every means you can think of to get the word out to as many people as possible that they should VOTE as often as the rules allowed!


  193. CogitoErgoBibo August 4, 2014 6:42 pm

    The Draco Fund is now officially a company. While we are not setup to accept donations on the site just yet (and are in the process of filing for tax-exempt status), please visit our site and click Join Us so we can let you know when we are ready.

    Thank you…


  194. RohanSJ August 4, 2014 10:55 pm

    Unfortunately it isn’t possible to “Join Us” at thedracofund.org with a non-USA address, as “State” is required.

  195. CogitoErgoBibo August 5, 2014 12:32 pm

    My apologies… we’re working on it.

  196. CogitoErgoBibo August 13, 2014 6:31 pm

    Everyone can now register on TheDracoFund.org,, our apologies for not having provisions for people outside the U.S. at the onset, but we are ready now. Please encourage everyone to register by clicking “Join Us”. We are in the process of getting our tax exempt status filing done and having the ability to donate on the web site added. We would like to be able to let everyone know when we are ready. Please post the link to our site everywhere appropriate.


    Thank you!

  197. CogitoErgoBibo October 29, 2014 10:50 am

    We are very excited to announce that The Draco Fund is now accepting donations! Also, we have been granted non-profit status by the IRS so your donations will now be tax deductible. All donations, large and small, will aid in moving DRACO research forward and will be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much for your patience, kind words of encouragement, and continued support! You can view how your donation will be used here.


    Don’t forget to click “Return to The Draco Fund” on the PayPal “Donation Complete” page to give us a chance to say thank you and an opportunity for you to share the news of your generosity with others.

    Thank you,

    Scott Tarone
    The Draco Fund

Leave a Comment

If you would like to make a comment, please fill out the form below.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

© 2007-2015 Process Media Labs and the respective authors. This WordPress theme began as a public work by Speckyboy.