Over half a million Americans continue to struggle for years on end with the pervasive complications of late stage Lyme disease. Lyme disease, which is generally straightforward to treat if caught early, has the potential to become a debilitating long-term illness with symptoms including arthritis, central nervous problems, memory and muscle control issues, and even serious heart conditions. Meanwhile wide variations in symptoms and disease progression and agitated debate about long-term antibiotic use complicate treatment options.

At Bay Area Lyme Foundation, we are excited to support a promising new therapy being developed by Stanford University’s BioMaterials and Advanced Drug Delivery (BioADD) Laboratory. This new treatment leverages commonly used compounds in conjunction to exponentially enhance the impact of the medications. See our past blog post and press release for more information about the discovery.

How Does the Treatment Work?

The combination therapy leverages an antibiotic in conjunction with the “re-purposing” of an over-the-counter FDA-approved compound.  In addition to its approved indication, our research has shown that it has other useful actions:

1. It blocks Manganese (Mn) from entering the Lyme spirochete and slows its life-sustaining protein synthesis

2. It protect the human immune system from antibiotic toxicity by preserving macrophages responsible for removing cellular debris

3. It maximizes the effect of the antibiotic in targeting the harmful bacteria

3-color confocoal image of Borrelia spirochete (green), cell nucleus (blue), and structural proteins (red) inside an infected Human Embryonic Lung Fibroblast cell. Image courtesy of Dr. Ravi Pothineni

Next Steps

It is exciting to have a promising solution demonstrating such a substantial effect in lab. A successful clinical trial and subsequent publication of results in a leading peer reviewed medical journal are the next steps to get the message out and enable the treatment to be adopted by physicians.

Because of the controversial nature of treatment for late stage Lyme disease, it is particularly important that the research design and protocols be well vetted. For this reason, we at Bay Area Lyme Foundation have been working with a panel of experts from internal medicine, integrated medicine, neurology, infectious disease, the NIH, and many other specialties to align on baseline criteria for the trial of this new treatment.

At the same time, we have also been continuing to raise funds to support the underwriting of the trial once approved. (Thanks to many generous Bay Area Lyme supporters, we have already raised more than $850,000 toward the cost of the clinical trial!) We hope to have the protocols approved by Winter 2017.

Patient Recruitment

Sample criteria for the clinical trial are still being developed and will depend on the outcome of the protocols but will likely include:

  • 200 patients, ages 18 and older
  • All regions of the country
  • Evidence of prior acute and late stage Lyme disease
  • Ability to participate in the full course of the treatment and study

Official recruitment will not begin until the trial has been formally approved however if you would like to be contacted for consideration in the trial and/or to receive updates about the trial, please register here.

Support

We are grateful to the very generous support of many donors who have already contributed and will help make this treatment an option of the many suffering from late-stage Lyme.

Please join us. To make your contribution and bring relief to those suffering from this painful illness, please donate today.