Saturday, August 17, 2019

New drug GVT progresses in research aimed at helping Gulf War Illness and other neurodegenerative diseases

( - August 17, 2019) - A small pharmaceutical company has taken positive findings from a Gulf War Illness (GWI) treatment research pilot study and now working on the next steps to test it to verify that it may indeed help alleviate Gulf War Illness symptoms.

The original work on this formulation was funded through a Fiscal Year 2013 treatment study by the treatment-focused, veteran-driven Gulf War Illness Research Program (GWIRP) funded by Congress at the request of ill Gulf War veteran advocates and within the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP).

The press release by Back Pharmaceuticals is below, followed by the original project abstract summarizing what they had hoped to find when first funded.

The study was one of many funded by the GWIRP aimed at unraveling GWI's underlying biological mechanisms and developing effective treatments to reduce GWI symptoms and shift dysfunctioning  systems in GWI closer to normal.

More information about the GWIRP and its efforts, including the Gulf War Illness Landscape (scheduled to be updated late 2019) is available online at: 

PRESS RELEASE, August 16, 2019



North Andover MA's Bach Pharma Inc. has developed a new drug GVT that has high hopes of treating Gulf War Illness and other neurodegenerative diseases. Now, the company is facing the challenge of competing with large pharma companies to get the drug released.

Bach Pharma, Inc., a company based in North Andover, Massachusetts, is continuing its research and development of its drug platform GVT (Monosodium Luminol), created to treat and cure multiple neurodegenerative diseases including Gulf War Illness (GWI), ALS, and Parkinson’s disease among others. Overwhelming data from multiple animal studies have proven that GVT has the potential to help millions of people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, specifically focusing on Veterans who suffer the effects of Gulf War Illness and related conditions.
In 2001, CEO Mark Henry, working with real estate developer Harold Brooks was able to recognize the immense potential for a drug platform they discovered while searching for drugs to help critically ill people survive. The major accomplishment for Henry was locating and bringing together eight founders were able to attract research institutions all over the world and convince them to work together to help mankind. While never intending to compete with the massive pharmaceutical corporations – the founders realized that this product, GVT, could make a huge difference to millions suffering the effects of Neurodegenerative Diseases. Henry recalls that, “What we experienced in the late 1990s was just short of a miracle. We continue to witness the powerful benefits from these products every day. With new data we discover new medical opportunities.”
Bach Pharma Inc’s primary medical product is GVT which is designed to act as a redox buffer in the patients’ brain cells – minimizing and potentially reversing the effects of Gulf War Illness in Veterans. As of 2019, it is believed that over 250,000 US Veterans suffer from some form of GWI and its associated complications including Parkinson’s disease and ALS.
Having successfully demonstrated effectiveness in several GWI animal models, Bach Pharma is in the midst of a $2.2M capital raise in order to fund the next stage of preclinical testing, specifically a toxicology study for the Veteran’s Administration. Individual Investors, Foundations and Veteran Organizations have already committed over $500,000 to this project. Once the toxicology studies are completed, Bach will qualify for an additional $8 million commitment from the US Department of Defense for additional testing of GVT.
COO Christopher LaFarge believes that GVT will be a safe and effective solution for the millions suffering from Neurodegenerative Diseases, “We have proven that neurodegenerative diseases, GWI, radiation exposure, and other related diseases share a common theme, namely oxidative stress, and that GVT has enormous potential to help millions live reasonably normal lives.”
About Bach Pharma, Inc.: Bach Pharma, Inc. (BACH), a privately held research and development pharmaceutical company, directs the development of therapies for degenerative neurological illnesses. The company’s lead candidate GVT is a novel cytoprotective agent that has powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which research has shown can reverse oxidative stress, restore intracellular redox homeostasis and quell inflammation. Due to its strong safety profile along with its ability to cross the retinal and the blood-brain barriers and enter cells of the central nervous system, GVT has the potential to treat serious diseases of the central nervous and immune systems and dramatically reduce the cost of global health care.
BACH is a proud member of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council and a host company for the Massachusetts Life Science Center Internship Challenge.


PUBLIC ABSTRACT, Fiscal Year 2013



Gulf War Illness (GWI), observed in nearly 30% of the 700,000 Persian Gulf War-1 (PGW-1) veterans, is characterized by multiple chronic health problems, which also include brain-related impairments. The most conspicuous brain impairments include learning difficulties, inability to make new memories, depression, anxiety, and lack of concentration. Multiple possible causes have been suggested for this disease over the last two decades. A detailed report by the VA Research Advisory Committee (VA-RAC) on GWI suggests that the symptoms exhibited by a major fraction of PGW-1 veterans are most likely owed to an exposure to chemicals such as pyridostigmine bromide (PB) and pesticides such as DEET and permethrin (PM) during the war. These exposures were believed to have occurred due to the following circumstances: First, to reduce the devastating effects of a possible nerve gas attack during the war, the troops were given pyridostigmine bromide (PB) as a prophylactic treatment. Second, pesticides such as DEET and PM were widely used by troops on skin and uniforms to combat insects and rodents in the region. Causes of GWI in some veterans likely also include exposure to chemical weapons (especially for those veterans who were stationed near the chemical weapon depot demolitions).  
Thus, it is widely believed that the neurological symptoms in a vast majority of Gulf War veterans are owed to a synergistic interaction of chemicals PB, DEET, and PM, or interaction of one or more of these chemicals with war-related stress. Indeed, studies performed in our laboratory using a rat model showed that combined exposure to low doses of chemicals PB, DEET, and PM, with or without mild stress, for 4 weeks, causes considerable dysfunction of the hippocampus, a region of the brain important for maintenance of normal memory and mood function. These include learning difficulties, reduced ability for making and retrieving new memories, increased depressive and anxiety-like behavior. Importantly, these changes were associated with chronic inflammation and greatly reduced neurogenesis (daily generation of new neurons) in the hippocampus. Because daily addition of new neurons to the hippocampus circuitry is an important process that contributes towards formation of new memories and maintenance of normal mood function, it is likely that greatly reduced hippocampal neurogenesis at least partly underlies the memory and mood impairments observed in this GWI model.

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