Our ongoing studies indicate that Jericho’s small molecule drug candidate can reduce FIV virus levels in chronically-infected cats for many months in the absence of continuing treatment. Extensive testing also indicates that the drug candidate has a good safety profile. Reducing FIV viral loads helps protect damage to cats’ immune systems.
- As with HIV, FIV infects immune cells of of the cat. While the virus may not cause immediate symptoms, the cat’s immune system will weaken over time.
- Approximately 2-3% of cats in the United States are infected with FIV. The virus is typically spread through bites (unlike HIV), so it is especially prevalent among aggressive male cats that live outdoors.
- While vaccines for FIV have certainly helped to reduce the frequency of infections, FDA-approved antiretroviral drugs for cats that become infected are currently not available.
Symptoms of FIV may include:
- Recurrent illnesses
- Poor coat condition
- Persistent fever
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Inflammation of the gums and mouth
- Chronic infection of the eyes, skin, bladder, or lungs
- Persistent diarrhea
- Progressive weight loss