In mid-December 2021 reports were coming out of China’s northwest region of a rise in severe cases and deaths due to haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (“HFRS”) caused by hantavirus – one of the viruses identified by the US Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) as a potential Category C bioterrorism agent.
The communist regime in China is hiding the nature and spread of this latest disease. This has many experts worried including Dr. Robert Malone who is the inventor of the mRNA vaccines.
Dr. Malone told The War Room, “They are using language that this is a haemorrhagic fever virus. If that’s the case then it would be very odd that this would be something caused by the coronavirus. That terminology is usually used for viruses in the family of Ebola. So, this is something that many people have feared is the development of a rapidly spreading Ebola-like haemorrhagic fever virus. But we have not knowledge of whether that is going on here or not.”
In November 2021, Atriva initiated Phase II trials of their drug zapnometinib as a treatment for hospitalised Covid patients. On 10 January 2022, Atriva obtained US Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) orphan drug designation for zapnometinib to treat hantavirus Infections – to “address urgent needs” of infected patients as hantavirus is “considered an emerging global health threat.”
Viral haemorrhagic fevers (“VHFs”) are a group of illnesses caused by four families of viruses: arenavirus; filoviruses; bunyaviruses; and, flaviviruses. VHFs include the Ebola and Marburg, Lassa fever, yellow fever and hantavirus. Ebola and Marburg are filoviruses and hantaviruses are of the Bunyaviridae family.
Hantaviruses are single-stranded, enveloped, negative-sense RNA viruses. Some strains cause potentially fatal diseases in humans, such as HFRS, or hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (“HPS”). Wikipedia’s page states that human infections of hantaviruses have almost entirely been linked to human contact with rodent excrement; however, in 2005 and 2019, human-to-human transmission of the Andes virus was reported in South America.
In 2013, a paper published in Science China, Life Sciences warned of an emerging haemorrhagic fever in China caused by a novel bunyavirus SFTSV with a fatality rate of 12% and an annual incidence of SFTSV, the disease, as approximately five per 100,000 of the rural population. The authors noted that ticks were the most likely transmission vectors and domestic animals, including goats, dogs, and cattle, are potential amplifying hosts.
In January 2020 a paper was published which noted that hantaviruses are rodent-transmitted viruses and “together, caused approximately 200,000 human infections worldwide in recent years, with a case fatality rate of 5-15% for HFRS and up to 40% for [hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome] HCPS … There is currently no effective treatment available for either HFRS or HCPS … vaccines against HTNV or SEOV are licensed for use in the Republic of Korea and China, but the protective efficacies of these vaccines are uncertain.”
In mid-December 2019 reports began emerging from Xi ‘an, in the Northwest region of China, of an outbreak of HFRS. Medical experts called on the public “not to panic as vaccinations can effectively prevent and control the disease,” Global Times wrote.
Although, as mentioned above, the authors of a 2020 paper wrote “the protective efficacies of these vaccines are uncertain.”
Global Times continued: “human-to-human transmission is basically impossible … it can be transmitted by a mouse bite, by eating food or water that a mouse has crawled over, or by contact with infected mouse blood, urine or faeces.”
At the time, due to a recent Covid-19 outbreak, many hospitals with infection units temporarily stopped receiving patients and were only attending to patients infected with Covid.
“Haemorrhagic fever is a common infectious disease in northern China. Starting from October every year, some areas of Shaanxi enter the high incidence season of haemorrhagic fever,” Global Times noted, “according to data released by the China CDC, the number of epidemic haemorrhagic fever cases in China from January to August in 2020 was 4,359, and the death toll was 21. In 2019, there were 9,596 cases and 44 deaths from the disease in China, with an average mortality rate of 0.4 percent.”
A public health expert at Peking University said there is no need to panic and it was less likely that China will have a big outbreak of the disease. Tests, targeted drugs and effective vaccines are available for the disease, medical experts said and urged quick vaccinations.
“The vaccine is given in three doses, with the first two doses spaced 14 days apart and the third at least six months later … It is recommended to wear a mask to prevent aerosol pollution in areas where weeds or straw are piled up and rat urine and dung may exist,” Global Times reported on 19 December 2021.
On 20 December, quoting the Global Times, WIO News wrote: “it is a ‘natural epidemic disease with high fatality rate’. However, there is no confirmation on the exact number of fatalities.”
On the same day, Caixin Global reported Xi’an, since October, recorded a number of cases of HFRS, with local authorities pointing out the figure is “significantly” higher than earlier this year and the same period last year:
“The number of severe cases and deaths has also increased compared with previous years, according to a Wednesday report published by the Xi’an disease control centre, which didn’t specify how many cases had been detected.
“The report said the incidence rate remains high and recommended a range of countermeasures including pest prevention and extermination.”
Schools from kindergarten through 12th grade were shut down “until further notice,” reportedly primarily to stop the spread of coronavirus, as hantavirus spreads through contact with infected rats and mice, Breitbart reported. But oddly, as The South China Morning Post noted, the school shutdown appeared to be a response to the “double danger of a Covid-19 outbreak and deadly haemorrhagic fever cases.”
The Chinese government also denied that Chinese coronavirus, an extremely contagious disease, was transmissible from human to human, a lie propagated in early 2020 by the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.). Hantavirus-caused haemorrhagic fever is not a novel disease, however, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) agrees that “transmission from one human to another may occur, but is extremely rare.”
‘No Need to Panic’: China Shuts Down Schools as Rat-Fuelled Haemorrhagic Fever Spreads, Breitbart, 20 December 2021
Although officials specifically warned people about haemorrhagic fever, they didn’t reveal any details of patients, Vision Times West wrote and went on to describe how news about haemorrhagic fever broke out, one after another, in many social media groups in China with one tweet stating:
“Be on the lookout. An outbreak of haemorrhagic fever has been circulating online in Xi’an, with videos showing a neighbourhood being welded shut. Deaths are said to have occurred.”
At this point it is worth a reminder what has been said about the transmission of hantavirus:
- hantaviruses are rodent-transmitted viruses, paper published January 2020
- human-to-human transmission is basically impossible, experts quoted by Global Times
- transmission from one human to another may occur but is extremely rare, US CDC
On Christmas eve, WIO News reported that after China locked down millions in Xi’an city, reports claim there has been “multiple community transmission chains” including haemorrhagic fever cases and haemorrhagic fever “shared similarity in early-stage symptoms with Covid-19”.
“There were also [Covid] cases imported from abroad coming in from international flights,” WIO News reported, 26 people and four local party officials were punished after the city reported a Covid case imported from Pakistan.
By 3 January, China’s “zero-Covid” policy was making it difficult for many Chinese people, especially those in Xi’an, to continue putting food on the table. According to reports, the latest Covid-19 lockdown in Xi’an was so strict that locals were now starving to death as a result.
After more than two weeks of strict lockdowns, Xi’an announced on 5 January, that community virus cases in the city had reached “basically zero,” and that the outbreak had been effectively controlled. This means, that all new cases were detected in “individuals undergoing quarantine and in areas under lockdown.”
Atriva and Zapnometinib
“Zapnometinib is under clinical development and has successfully completed a Phase I trial to demonstrate safety and tolerability in healthy subjects. The Company is actively enrolling patients in a Phase II study to evaluate efficacy in hospitalized Covid-19 patients,” Atriva Therapeutics announced on 9 November 2021.
Atriva is a German company founded in 2015 by Rainer Lichtenberger and Stephan Ludwig, Head of Institute of Molecular Virology at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster. It has received funding from both the European Investment Bank (EUR24m) and the German Government (EUR11.3m).
Zapnometinib is Atriva’s “lead candidate” in the treatment of Covid and, it’s claimed, shows substantial efficacy against SARS-CoV-2. It is made of the compound 2-(2-Chloro-4-iodophenylamino)-3,4-difluorobenzoic Acid (C₁₃H₇ClF₂INO₂).
A Canadian website describes C₁₃H₇ClF₂INO₂ as a compound useful in organic synthesis and the attached safety data sheet dated October 2018 states it is “to be used only for scientific research and development. Not for use in humans or animals.”
We are not chemists, pharmacists, scientists or drug developers and so we are not able to give much insight on the compound C₁₃H₇ClF₂INO₂ except to follow a paper trail in an attempt to get a broad indication of its use, of which there may be many.
Zapnometinib is a tablet, taken orally, with potential anti-viral and anti-inflammatory activities. Phase II trials to treat Covid patients intended to administer the tablets once daily for six days to hospitalised patients.
In a Compound Summary created in 2006 and updated in 2022, PubChem explains how zapnometinib works: it “selectively binds to and inhibits the activity of MEK. This may prevent the export of the viral genome protein complexes from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, thereby inhibiting the formation of new viral particles and the replication of various RNA viruses, including influenza virus, hantavirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and SARS-CoV-2 … It may also decrease gene expression and inhibit the production of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines.”
The Raf/MEK/ERK cascade is the prototype of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase cascades and has an important role in cell growth, differentiation and survival. Investigation of the function of this pathway has been facilitated by the identification of specific inhibitors such as U0126, which blocks the cascade at the level of MAPK/ERK kinase (MEK).
Many RNA viruses rely on the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK signalling pathway inside human cells to replicate. But MEK inhibitors such as U0126 may have other possible indications, for example:
- A 2013 study examined a newer MEK inhibitor as it had “previously been shown that blocking activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) with the MEK inhibitor U0126 mitigates brain damage in rodent models of ischemic stroke.”
- A 2009 study showed U0126 significantly reduced RMS tumour growth in mice. Rhabdomyosarcoma or RMS is a rare type of soft tissue sarcoma. Another study showed that MEK/ERK inhibition with U0126 treatment enhanced radiosensitivity of RMS cells suggesting a rational approach in combination with radiotherapy.
- A 2021 study showed U0126 could be a therapeutic target for the treatment of diabetic cardiomyopathy.
We don’t know whether zapnometinib, or the compound C₁₃H₇ClF₂INO₂ under another name, has been approved for use in humans. However, to an uneducated eye, it seems strange it is being pushed forward – not for the possible treatment of more common conditions of strokes and cancer – but firstly as a treatment for Covid and now, suddenly, it seems as a treatment for a rare disease caused by hantavirus.
On 10 January 2022, zapnometinib received FDA orphan drug designation to treat hantavirus infections.
Orphan drug designation may be granted to a drug to prevent, diagnose or treat a rare disease or condition. It qualifies sponsors for certain financial incentives. It is a separate process from seeking approval or licensing.
“These [hantavirus] RNA viruses may lead to serious diseases in humans with a high risk of fatality and have been classified by the CDC as a potential bioterrorism agent,” Atriva’s press release stated, continuing with a comment from Dr. Lichtenberger (emphasis our own):
“The Orphan Drug Designation we received for our lead drug candidate zapnometinib is an important milestone towards addressing the urgent needs of patients infected with hantavirus. We are very pleased about this external validation from the FDA and we are looking forward to advancing zapnometinib towards full development in this indication, which is considered an emerging global health threat due to man-made environmental and climatic changes.”
We’re not quite sure what to make of all of this but we smell a rat … ideas, anyone?