Xiangguo Qiu (born 1964)
Wikipedia 🌐 NONE
2014 (November 12-13) - Neglected Global Diseases Initiative - NGDI Ebola Symposium for Treatment and Action
"On November 13, 2014 UBC’s Neglected Global Diseases Initiative at UBC (NGDI-UBC) in partnership with the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), Canada’s national not-for-profit drug development and commercialization centre, brought together leading researchers from across the country to discuss Ebola Treatment and Action. The meeting focused on Canada’s current contributions to potential therapeutics in response to the 2014 West African outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and the opinions of Canadian Public Health officials and researchers for the prevention, and control of infection domestically."
Keynote Speaker Biographies - Xiangguo Qiu, MD MSc :
"Dr. Xiangguo Qiu received her M.D. degree in 1985 at Hebei Medical University and M.Sc. in immunology in 1990 at Tianjin Medical University. She went to MD Ander‐ son Cancer Center (USA) as a vising Scienst in 1996 and moved to Cancer Care Manitoba (Canada) in 1997 as a research associate. In 2003, she joined the Special Pathogens Program at the Naonal Microbiology Laboratory at the Public Health Agency of Canada to start studying the most deadly viruses, such as Ebola/ Marburg/Lassa, in the only level 4 (highest containment level) laboratory in Cana‐ da. Her primary field is immunology with research emphasis on vaccine develop‐ ment, post‐exposure therapeucs and rapid diagnosc of haemorrhagic viruses. As a member of WHO expert team, she and her colleagues provided advises/technical support for biosafety in 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2010 Shanghai Expo, 2010 Asian games in Guangzhou, 2010 winter Olympics in Vancouver and G8/G20 in Toronto, Canada. Her group has first demonstrated that mAbs completely protect nonhu‐ man primates from Ebola virus infecon in the filovirus field. Moreover, she and colleagues have developed ZMapp which has been compassionately used in several Ebola infected paents and showed very promising outcomes. Currently, Dr. Qiu heads Serology Diagnoscs Unit in Special Pathogens Program of Naonal Microbi‐ ology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada."
Last week, UBC’s Neglected Global Diseases Initiative at UBC (NGDI-UBC) in partnership with the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), Canada’s national not-for-profit drug development and commercialization centre, brought together leading researchers from across the country to discuss Ebola Treatment and Action. The meeting focused on Canada’s current contributions to potential therapeutics in response to the 2014 West African outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and the opinions of Canadian Public Health officials and researchers for the prevention, and control of infection domestically.
NGDI logo2Dr. Richard Lester, Director of NGDI-UBC and Assistant Professor in Infectious Diseases and Global Health in the Department of Medicine states, “In this time of a health crisis in West Africa, we were really privileged to hear the scientific stories behind the development of these hopeful treatments for Ebola. There is still urgent work to be done on this crisis, and these Canadian scientists and practitioners are inspiring examples of how local expertise can contribute in the global context. We hope to encourage even more contributions, like those from CDRD, to close the gap in access to expert care and medicines for the world’s most vulnerable, remote, or underserved populations.”
NGDI-UBC is currently working closely with CDRD to identify how best to use the extensive capabilities of its biologics platform to employ a novel approach to developing the next generation of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies for the prevention and treatment of Ebola; bringing its industry partners, and combined 40-plus years of therapeutic antibody development experience in rapidly developing candidate antibodies with enhanced effector functions to the table.
CDRD newCDRD President and CEO, Karimah Es Sabar commented, “This timely symposium has focused the mindset of an expert panel of immunologists, public health clinicians, officials and drug developers to work collaboratively through NGDI to accelerate the development of safe, efficacious and affordable treatments for Ebola. It is a neglected disease which affects the most vulnerable people in the poorest communities on this planet. CDRD is committed to working with UBC’s NGDI, and leveraging our vast network of industry and academic collaborators to determine how we can best contribute to developing the next generation of biologics treatments for this devastating disease.”
Dr. Bonnie Henry, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, BC Ministry of Health and Associate Professor, School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine UBC opened the symposium with a detailed overview of the symptoms, transmission and mortality of EVD. To-date, 14,000 people have been infected with Ebola in the current outbreak which came to light in March 2014, but is thought to have originated in late 2013. From a public health perspective, Canada is well prepared to deal with patients who may present with symptoms and subsequently test positive for EVD. A Special Advisory Committee is in place, consisting of Public Health Experts from across the nation in addition to a BC Provincial Task Force on-hand to advise best practices if and when suspected cases arise.
From a treatment perspective, there are three Canadian contributions that are being fast-tracked through clinical trials but the challenge remains to find companies and researchers willing to translate their EVD research from bench to bedside. The keynote speakers focused on two of these contributions; the National Microbiology Laboratory’s therapeutic monoclonal antibody, ZMapp and Tekmira Pharmaceutical’s TKM-Ebola lipid nanoparticle (LNP) therapeutic. Dr. Xiangguo Qiu of the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML), Public Health Agency of Canada said that the challenges associated with controlling the spread of the current outbreak are multi-factorial. Firstly, this outbreak occurred outside the traditional “hotspot” of Eastern Africa and therefore, local communities were poorly prepared for this event. This lack of preparedness and understanding has culminated in community resistance to foreign health workers and a local underestimation of the problem. Additionally, there is increased travel by West Africans and a greater number of inexperienced medical staff combating this outbreak.
Ebola Audience 2The NML is responding in a three-pronged approach; they have set up a mobile diagnostic lab which has been based in Sierra Leone since June 2014; they have produced a vaccine with the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) vector and they have developed a monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapeutic. The VSV vaccine induces strong B- and T-cell responses. This vaccine has been tested as a post-exposure therapeutic and has been shown to provide 100% protection 28 days post-immunization. This vaccine is currently in Phase I trials and 1,000 doses have been donated for use in the current outbreak. Over the past 10 years, the NML has also been developing a mAb which targets Ebola virus glycoprotein (EBOV GP 1.2). This is the primary protein involved in the pathogenesis of EVD. It is produced using a hybridoma model followed by humanization of purified mAbs. ZMAb is a cocktail of these mAbs which was observed to be 100% efficacious in a study using rhesus monkeys. ZMapp; the chimeric combination of ZMAb also showed very high survival rates in in vivo models. Both have been used in the treatment of 9 Ebola patients during the current outbreak. Five out of 7 patients treated with ZMapp survived while both patients treated with ZMAb survived.
Dr. Ian MacLachlan, Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer of Vancouver-based Tekmira Pharmaceuticals spoke about their siRNA-based LNP therapeutic targeting the Kikwit strain of Ebola. These LNP formulations are highly uniform and highly stable. The siRNA targets V24, VP35 and LPol genes on the Ebola virus. The lyophilized formulation has shown increased potency and increased therapeutic index and appears to ameliorate pathology due to EVD such as coagulopathy. The Tekmira product has been used to treat an undisclosed number of patients in the current outbreak. There is ongoing development of this product to account for mismatched sequences between LPol and VP35 in the current strain. However, the LNP platform has allowed Tekmira to rapidly adjust the product configuration in response to the emergent virus.
By bringing Canada’s vast health research resources to bear, we as a nation are already making a major global impact on this devastating disease, and by further fostering dialogue and collaboration, and sharing knowledge and resources, we now aim to amplify both our national efforts and impact
After a nurse who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone was discharged Wednesday from a Rome hospital, a doctor there described the experimental treatments the patient had received as “absolutely miraculous.”
They included MIL77, a product from China that was also given to a British Army nurse who recovered from Ebola at a London hospital in March. It is a near copy of what many believed was the most promising Ebola therapy: a cocktail of antibodies known as ZMapp, the result of a collaboration between the United States and Canada.
While a limited supply of ZMapp was quickly exhausted, a small private Chinese company, Beijing Mabworks, raced ahead last fall, helping to produce about 100 doses of MIL77. That means more potentially lifesaving treatments for desperate patients. But it has also led to patent infringement concerns by American officials, and to disagreements over when experimental Ebola therapies should be offered to patients only in carefully controlled studies and when they should be made more available for compassionate reasons.
Feng Li, chief executive of Beijing Mabworks, said his company was motivated to fight a global emergency and had made a licensing agreement with ZMapp’s intellectual property rights holder. “People think international collaboration could easily happen between the U.S. and Canada,” he said, “but these days, China could play a role” by making emergency response drugs “better and faster in some cases.”
ZMapp is being tested in a clinical trial in the United States and Sierra Leone, where the government reported nine new cases of Ebola on Thursday, one of the highest daily totals in months.
Last summer, when Ebola was raging out of control, ZMapp raised hopes after it was given to two American aid workers with the disease. Both recovered. Scientists had already shown that ZMapp could save monkeys injected with what would have been a lethal dose of the virus.
Tobacco plants were engineered to produce ZMapp, a mixture of three antibodies designed to attach to the covering of the virus, neutralize it and attract killer immune cells. That was an unusual production method, chosen in part to meet the requirements of an American government grant that promotes innovation. However, there were no facilities capable of producing large amounts of the treatment.
Then China jumped in. The scarcity of ZMapp was “a spark, like lightning to me,” said Boyan Zhang, chief scientific officer at Beijing Mabworks. Supported by Chinese government grants, the company had developed mammalian cells capable of quickly producing antibodies targeted against cancer and viral diseases in humans, and its leaders decided to use the same process to develop an Ebola remedy.
China, highly attuned to infectious diseases since the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome in 2003, had many citizens working in West Africa. “The entire country was mobilized,” Mifang Liang of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said at the China-U.S. Relations Conference in Houston last month.
The Chinese government issued a directive last summer that helped inspire the production not only of MIL77 but also of an Ebola vaccine, which is in human safety studies; rapid Ebola diagnostic tests; and copies of antiviral drugs made by companies in other countries. Dr. Zijian Feng, deputy general director of the China C.D.C., said involvement in emergency public health assistance served to “elevate our presence in the international stage and also elevate our capabilities.”
Within three months, using information in ZMapp’s patent, Dr. Li and his colleagues had copied the active part of ZMapp and used the company’s specialized cells to produce the antibodies. A month later, with the help of the Chinese pharmaceutical company Hisun, they had 100 doses.
But some American officials expressed concern. The United States government holds a patent on one of the antibodies in ZMapp, which was developed with support from American and Canadian military research agencies, a legacy of fears that Ebola could be used as a biological weapon by the Soviet Union or, later, by terrorists.
[Dr. Robin Augustus Robinson (born 1955)], director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, said the Chinese scientists might have infringed patents if they tried to sell MIL77 outside China without an agreement with Mapp Biopharmaceutical, the small American company with intellectual property rights to ZMapp.
He added, “They have not done all the testing that we would normally do for safety before these products would go into humans.”
Larry Zeitlin, president of Mapp, said that his company had 100 doses of ZMapp at the same time Hisun had MIL77, but that the ZMapp had been produced for a clinical trial and was undergoing safety testing required by the Food and Drug Administration before human use.
Dr. Robinson said his agency had worked with Mapp and larger companies — including Regeneron in Tarrytown, N.Y., and Genentech in South San Francisco — to use methods similar to the Chinese researchers’ to increase production of ZMapp and other antibody-based treatments for Ebola.
But aid groups treating patients in West Africa had trouble getting information on those efforts, said Dr. Annick Antierens, coordinator of research partnerships for Doctors Without Borders. So they began to explore using Chinese-made MIL77.
“We said, ‘You have people dying like flies, and there’s a product that seems to be O.K.,’ ” Dr. Antierens said. But as the number of Ebola patients declined in West Africa with the waning epidemic and ZMapp finally became available, she said, American officials and scientists expressed concerns that the use of MIL77 could interfere with the clinical testing and licensing of ZMapp.
Doctors Without Borders and some other aid groups have balked at participating in the ZMapp trial because it is randomized and patients only have a 50 percent chance of receiving the treatment. That is a standard procedure in many trials so that researchers can compare patient outcomes and determine whether the treatment was effective and not harmful.
At Royal Free Hospital in London several months ago, two healthy workers with serious exposure to Ebola were given MIL77. Neither of the workers ended up developing the disease, said Dr. Michael Jacobs, who treated them.
When the British Army nurse, Cpl. Anna Cross, tested positive for Ebola in March, she also agreed to receive MIL77, which had shown promising results in guinea pigs and nonhuman primates at the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The London hospital has since decided not to join the American-run clinical trial of ZMapp because of the randomizing requirement. It has opted instead to keep a supply of MIL77 for use in any Ebola patients treated in Britain or the European Union.
“We’ve challenged ourselves about whether that is the right decision or not,” Dr. Jacobs said. “In the end, I have to do my best for the patient in front of me.”
But [Dr. Henry Clifford Lane Jr. (born 1950)], clinical director at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it was important to test ZMapp properly to determine whether using antibodies to treat Ebola really works.
“There are interventions that look so logical, that should be effective, that prove not to be,” he said. “Without randomization, you have no way to control for all the different variables that come into play when you’re dealing with a patient.”
2015 (Nov 23) - PBS News Hour video on ZMapp ( Zeitlin mentioned)
How to grow an Ebola vaccine with a tobacco plant
Nov 23, 2015
PBS News Hour (Nov 2015) - "How to grow an Ebola vaccine with a tobacco plant" (Larry Zeitlin Mapp)
2016 (March 17) - The Chatham News/Record : "New SARS-like virus is poised to infect humans"
Note comment on ZMapp : "The limitation to treat with antibodies is the same as with ZMapp, the antibody approach used for Ebola: producing it at a large enough scale to treat many people."
2016 (May 17) - Canadian Medical Association Journal : " Profile: Gary Kobinger — 'My goal became to prevent death' "
CMAJ May 17, 2016 188 (8) 561-562; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.109-5261
Gary Kobinger toiled in obscurity until a couple of years ago when, during the Ebola crisis, the chief of special pathogens at the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) microbiology laboratory in Winnipeg vaulted to the rank of international hero.
In the midst of the epidemic that claimed more than 11 000 lives, he and his team announced that they had developed both an effective treatment — a drug called ZMapp — and a vaccine against the lethal virus.
Although both are still in clinical assessment, these discoveries came as heartening news to a world gripped by fear of a hemorrhagic fever that, on average, kills half of those who contract it. The twin breakthroughs received attention from media, scientists and public health authorities across the globe, and led to Kobinger being nominated for such honours as Radio-Canada’s scientist of the year.
Dr. Xiangguo Qiu of PHAC, who is first author on most of the publications related to ZMapp, says Kobinger’s support was exceptional. “He immediately saw the potential for this treatment,” said Qui. “We established a plan together. He is very quick and knowledgeable. It is great to work with him. Without him the treatment we developed would have never seen the light.”
The praise and media attention has not distracted Kobinger from his work. He is quick to give credit to his team, and to point out that the Ebola breakthroughs were part of a much wider — and longer — battle against highly infectious diseases.
“My team and I are working on a MERS [Middle East respiratory syndrome] vaccine, currently tested in a phase one clinical trial,” he said in an interview from his Winnipeg laboratory. “We also have a vaccine against Zika that could be ready as early as this summer.”
With the mosquito-borne Zika virus spreading from Brazil to other countries and potentially causing increases in rates of both microcephaly in newborns and Guillain-Barré syndrome in adults, Kobinger fully understands there is no time to waste. Thankfully, he will not be starting from scratch.
Gary Kobinger extracts genetic information from blood samples for Ebola diagnostic testing at a mobile lab in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Image courtesy of Christopher Black/World Health Organization
“It may sound extraordinary, but we have known and developed this [method] for over 10 years. So what is in fact extraordinary is that it took an epidemic to receive the attention our work deserved,” he said. “We were working in the shadows for years and years.”
It would be hard to imagine a work environment less glamorous, or more dangerous. He often works alone in this maximum-containment facility — Canada’s only level-4 biosafety containment laboratory — wearing what looks like a blue spacesuit, complete with a hood and gloves. Most of his days end with a chemical shower. Yet it is precisely these conditions that have helped Kobinger to attain understanding of the complex mechanisms that could protect human cells from highly infectious and deadly viruses.
“It is so quiet in a level-4 lab,” he said. “The air and temperature are controlled, which allows me to reach an intense level of concentration and focus on my work.”
From the perfect ambient temperature and controlled conditions of his lab, his research took him to the heat and squalor at the heart of the Ebola outbreak. His desire to stop infectious disease in its tracks was fanned by what he witnessed there.
“You never forget the expression of fear imprinted on the face of someone who has died of Ebola,” he said.
Over the course of four trips to Africa between 2007 and 2014, he was instrumental in implementing safety protocols as cochair of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Emerging and Dangerous Pathogens Laboratory Network. With the danger of infection all around them, he and his team were careful to follow all protocols. “I’m motivated by the fact that we can prevent deaths. I have a wife and children, and of course I was thinking about them when I saw women and children dying of Ebola in front of us.”
It was particularly tough to watch death strike when he knew he had a potential cure, as well as a vaccine, at his lab back in Canada. “The hardest thing is administrative and bureaucratic delays which slow us down. Delays make me impatient.”
Kobinger’s sense of urgency about his mission is palpable, but the path that led the Quebec City–born scientist to the Winnipeg lab and to Africa’s shores was not always so direct. The self-described “medical school dropout” spent a year planting trees and travelling before finding his true calling.
“He came back very sick from a trip to India,” recounts his mother, Nicole Kobinger. “I think that this was a determinant for him. One day, after several months of lying ill in bed, he got up and decided to return to university.”
Kobinger’s brush with mortality gave him a sense of purpose. “I realized there was a great need to immunize and protect people from emerging infectious diseases. I became fascinated with viruses and I was convinced we could help people. My goal became to prevent death.”
He pursued his studies with those he considered the best in his field. His doctoral work was with Éric Cohen of Université de Montréal’s Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal, who was known for his research into retroviruses such as HIV. Then from 1999 to 2004, he did postdoctoral training under James M. Wilson’s supervision at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. “He joined my lab at a time when [there was] a collection of incredibly ambitious and aggressive post-doc cohorts,” said Wilson. “He was part of that exceptional and superior class of researcher that came through.” Wilson credits Kobinger with conducting extremely challenging experiments using bits of the HIV virus and pseudotyping them with bits of the Ebola virus, at a time when bio-threats were heightened.
“After 9/11, and biosecurity heightened, it became very hard to gain access to one of those labs. Gary was very persistent and impatient with the bureaucratic delays, but not in a reckless way. I admire that in him,” said Wilson. “He is an amazing human being; the type that I have rarely encountered. What is so amazing about him is that he is one of the very rare people who are extremely smart, pursuing ambitious goals while abiding by very high levels of principles, and with great generosity. I mean, he would give his shirt off [his back]. What he did in Africa was selfless. It is very rare in our world, where competition is fierce and ruthless, to encounter that level of selflessness and integrity in one human being.”
Vaccines usually take at least 10 years to develop, but Kobinger and his PHAC team claim to have created what he calls a “template” — or recipe — that applies to several types of vaccines, including one tested against Ebola. This type of vaccine acts on several fronts to trigger an appropriate immune response.
“When you look at the structure of the wormlike Ebola virus under the microscope, you see its surface is peppered with glycoproteins,” he said. These proteins, which form the envelope of many other viruses, bind onto human cells and act as keys, opening a target cell and allowing the virus to penetrate and infect it. By using glycoproteins in combination with features of other infectious agents, this new type of vaccine triggers an immune reaction that has produced promising results in the recent initial human tests.
Kobinger leaves PHAC in June to head Laval University’s Infectious Disease Research Centre in his hometown of Quebec City. “We will miss him greatly, says Qiu. “We love him here, and we wish him luck.” Kobinger may be moving across the country, but his goal remains the same: preventing death.
A doctor who fought the Ebola outbreak in West Africa ended up being the successful guinea pig for an experimental treatment to fight the virus.
On Friday, he visited Winnipeg's National Microbiology Lab to thank the scientists who saved him, in person.
Dr. Kent Brantly, a family physician from Fort Worth, Texas, was part of the medical response to the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, where he was living and practising, in 2014. But while there, he contracted the deadly virus himself.
"I'm really glad to be able to meet you in person and tell you thank you," Brantly said to Dr. Gary Kobinger, a professor at the universities of Laval and Manitoba, who was involved in developing the treatment.
Brantly's recovery from what his doctors believed was death's doorstep was widely credited to the drug ZMapp, an antibody cocktail designed at Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory.
He reported feeling his fever break just 15 minutes after receiving the treatment.
"It's really a tremendous honour and privilege to meet him. I've seen your picture, I've watched interviews with you, but it is a great privilege to say thank you to someone who saved my life," Brantly said to Kobinger.
The treatment had never been used on a human being before, so when Brantly got sick, he was the first test subject.
"My story is just one of thousands," he said. But "through the attention that was given to my story, we saw a tremendous boost in support of the work that's required years and years in advance to have options available when an outbreak occurs."
Dr. Kent Brantly and Dr. Linda Mobula, assistant professor at John Hopkins School of Medicine and the physician who administered ZMapp to Dr. Brantly in Liberia. National Microbiology Lab scientists who created the Ebola treatment are also featured: Dr. Gary Kobinger, former chief of special pathogens, and Dr. Xiangguo Qiu, research scientist. (Submitted by Health Canada)
Kobinger, in return, thanked Brantly for his visit. He noted there was a huge team involved in both the treatment and in getting Brantly evacuated to a hospital in Atlanta, where he and another worker who had been exposed were treated.
"I would say that it's very humbling and very touching that he took the time to come and say thank you," Kobinger said.
Treating Brantly all happened so fast, he added.
"Despite the complexity of the environment, very important decisions can be made when people work together," he said. "Extraordinary achievements can be can be made also when we work together to resolve and solve problems and find solutions."
Before going to speak to a group at the University of Manitoba Friday, Brantly said he hopes what they take away from his visit is the importance of choosing compassion over fear.
"Choosing to do the right thing for your fellow human being rather than reacting out of fear and self preservation. That is not only true in my particular clinical story, but that's true of the work that happens in the lab every day — is setting aside the fear of working with deadly diseases to do good for others."
Brantly, who was the face of the Ebola fight on Time's 2014 Person of the Year cover, is speaking at a brunch Saturday morning at McDermot Avenue Baptist Church.
Canadian researchers are reacting with puzzlement to the news that a “policy breach” has caused the nation’s only high-containment disease laboratory to bar a prominent Chinese Canadian virologist, her biologist husband, and a number of students from the facility.
On 5 July, officials at the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnipeg, Canada, escorted Xiangguo Qiu, biologist Keding Cheng, and an unknown number of her students from the lab and revoked their access rights, according to Canadian media reports. The Public Health Agency of Canada, which operates the lab, confirmed it had referred an “administrative matter” matter to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, but said it would not provide additional details because of privacy concerns.
A number of observers have speculated that case involves concerns about the improper transfer of intellectual property to China. (All of the researchers involved are believed to be Asian.) But Frank Plummer, a former scientific director of NML who left in 2015, says the lab isn’t an obvious target for academic or industrial espionage. “There is nothing highly secret there, and all the work gets published in the open literature,” he says. “I don’t know what anyone would hope to gain by spying.”
The lab works in a wide range of biomedical fields. Qiu is known for helping develop ZMapp, a treatment for Ebola virus that was fast-tracked through development during the 2014–16 outbreak in West Africa. She has repeatedly been honored for her work on that project, including with a Governor General’s Innovation Award last year.
“While I was there [Qiu] was always highly regarded as a scientist,” says Plummer, adding that he was “shocked and puzzled” when he heard she was being investigated. “She maintained connections with China, but as far as I knew she was a regular Canadian scientist.”
Cheng, Qiu’s husband, also worked as a biologist at NML. And both researchers held adjunct faculty positions at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. It says it has terminated their positions and reassigned their students as a result of the investigation.
Neither Qiu nor Cheng could be reached for comment.
The development comes at a sensitive time for relations between Canada and China. In December 2018, Canada arrested Chinese Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at the request of the United States. In retaliation, China has arrested two Canadian men on espionage charges and sentenced a third to death for drug offenses.
It also comes as the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has raised concerns that some grantees have failed to disclose ties to China and other nations, or improperly shared confidential information. The concerns have led several universities to oust researchers who are ethnic Chinese and return grant funds to NIH. The crackdown has raised concerns among the Chinese American community of racial profiling. In Canada, the nation’s Security Intelligence Service has long warned of state-sponsored espionage, and in 2014, the Canadian government alleged that China was behind a cyberattack on Canada’s National Research Council.
2019 (July) - "China's Biological Warfare Programme and the Curious Case of Dr. Xiangguo Qiu" from 'Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA)'
NOTE : This is the July-Dec (Winter) issue of CBM. We dont know the exact date that it was published, so we estimate July 2019. Full issue is here :
Live link : https://idsa.in/cbwmagazine/chinas-biological-warfare-programme / Saved PDF : [HI000K][GDrive]
Housatonic Research NOTES :
The Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manohar_Parrikar_Institute_for_Defence_Studies_and_Analyses ; since Jan 2019, director is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sujan_R._Chinoy .
Dany Shoham - Other articles since this are https://idsa.in/cbwmagazine/the-us-intelligence-community-pandemic-virus : "The U.S. Intelligence Community and the Roots of the Pandemic Virus" ...
Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Dany Shoham : (Ph.D. Tel Aviv University) Former senior analyst in IDF military intelligence and the Ministry of Defense. Specializes in chemical and biological warfare in the Middle East and worldwide. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ( https://besacenter.org/author/dshoham/ )
NOT ONE MENTION that Xiangguo Qiu is a co-inventer of ZMapp, nor any mentions of monoclonal antibodies.
Jan 29 2020 - Israeli spy Dany Shoham makes claim that SARSCOV2 is from a Wuhan lan leak... and is "deunked" ... https://www.poynter.org/?ifcn_misinformation=israeli-spy-dany-shoham-claims-the-new-coronavirus-is-linked-to-the-chinese-secret-program-for-the-production-of-biological-weapons-at-the-institute-of-virology-in-wuhan-the-epicenter-of-the-infectio .....
Feb 16 2022 paper - https://idsa.in/system/files/jds/jds-16-2-2022-dany-shoham_compressed.pdf ... Still published through CBW magazine (India) .. also referencing DEFUSE proposal
In July 2019, a rare event occurred in Canada, whereby a group of Chinese virologists were forcibly dispatched from the Canadian National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnipeg, a facility they worked in, running parts of the Special Pathogen Programme of Canada's Public Health Agency.1 Experimental infections – including aerogenic ones – of monkeys with the most lethal viruses found on Planet Earth comprise nearly a routine therein. Four months earlier, a shipment of two exceptionally virulent viruses dealt with in the NML – Ebola and Nipah viruses – was on its way from NML, ended in China, and has thereafter been traced and regarded to be improper, specifically put as “possible policy breaches”, or rather but an “administrative issue”, ostensibly.2
Yet the scope of this incident is much wider, in actuality. The main culprit seems to be Dr. Xiangguo Qiu, an outstanding Chinese scientist, born in Tianjin. Heading until recently the Vaccine Development and Antiviral Therapies section of the Special Pathogens Programme, she primarily received her medical doctor degree from Hebei Medical University in China in 1985 and came to Canada for graduate studies in 1996.3 Later on, she was affiliated with the Institute of Cell Biology and the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health of the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, not engaged with studying pathogens.4 But a shift took place, somehow. Since 2006,5 she has been studying powerful viruses, Ebola virus foremost, in the NML. The two viruses shipped from the NML to China – Ebola and Nipah – were studied by her in 2014, for instance (together with the viruses Machupo, Junin, Rift Valley Fever, Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever and Hendra).6 Yet utmost attention has been paid to Ebola, with the highly legitimate aim of developing effective prophylaxis and treatment for infected people. Inevitably, her works included a variety of Ebola wild strains – among them the most virulent one, with 80% lethality rate – and much relied on experimental infections of monkeys, including via the airways.7 Remarkable achievements were attained, indeed, and Dr. Qiu accepted the Governor General's Innovation Award in 2018.
So far so good, seemingly. But the collateral Chinese plexus cannot be ignored. Married to a Chinese scientist – Dr. Keding Cheng, also affiliated with the NML (specifically the “Science and Technology Core”), and primarily a bacteriologist who shifted to virology – Dr. Qiu frequently visited and maintained tight bonds with China, generally speaking, and many Chinese students joined her works in the NML during the recent decade, coming from a notable range of Chinese scientific facilities. Nonetheless, among the latter there are four facilities that have been regarded to possess parts of the Chinese biological weapons alignment,8 namely:
Institute of Military Veterinary, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Changchun9.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Chengdu Military Region10.
Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hubei11.
Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing12
All of the four mentioned facilities collaborated with Dr. Qiu within the context of Ebola virus, yet the Institute of Military Veterinary joined a study on the Rift Valley fever virus too,13 while the Institute of Microbiology joined a study on Marburg virus too.14 Noticeably, the drug used in the latter study – Favipiravir – has been earlier tested successfully by the Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences, with the designation JK-05 (originally a Japanese patent registered in China already in 2006), against Ebola and additional viruses.15
However, the studies by Dr. Qiu are considerably more advanced and fruitful, in certain aspects. They are apparently vital for the Chinese biological weapons developing, in case Ebola, Nipah, Marburg or Rift Valley fever viruses are included therein, which is a plausible postulation; let alone the wild type viruses in themselves. And it is of note that only Nipah virus is naturally found in China or neighboring countries. Collectively, then, the interface between Dr. Qiu and China has a priori been highly suspicious. On top of it, the shipment of the two viruses from NML to China apparently generated an alarm, beyond its seeming inappropriateness. And an unavoidable question is whether previous shipments to China of other viruses or other essential preparations, took place from 2006 to 2018, one way or another.
At any rate, the controversial shipment brought about the entering of information technology specialists into Qiu's office after hours, for her computer. Consequent to the incident, security access for Dr. Qiu, her husband and the Chinese students was revoked. Her regular trips to China also started being denied.16 Notably, Dr. Qiu made at least five trips over the school year 2017-18 to the above mentioned Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences,17which was certified for BSL4 in January 2017. Moreover, in August 2017, the National Health Commission of China approved research activities involving Ebola, Nipah, and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever viruses at the Wuhan facility, and in March 2019, the Chinese published their tour de force.18
Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary-general of NATO, said at a news conference he couldn't comment on this specific case but appeared to suggest the possibility of espionage. "What I can say in general is that we have seen increased efforts by the nations to spy on NATO allies in different ways," he noted.19 Connectedly or not, Dr. Qiu collaborated in 2018 with three scientists from the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Maryland, studying post-exposure immunotherapy for two Ebola viruses and Marburg virus in monkeys; a study supported by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency.20
Finally, the multiplicity of the Chinese grants – all of on a national level – supporting the works done under the leading of Dr. Qiu in the NML is rather intriguing; included are:
National Key Program for Infectious Disease of China
National Key Research and Development Program of China
National Natural Science Foundation of China International Cooperation and Exchange Program
Special Foundation of President for Ebola virus research from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
President's International Fellowship Initiative from the Chinese Academy of Sciences
China National Key Subject of Drug Innovation
Youth Innovation Promotion Association of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
National Natural Science Foundation Award, Ministry of Science and Technology
National Science and Technology Major Projects
Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Structure Biology
Major Program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China.
Certainly an impressive list.
In sum, there is still a possibility that Dr. Qiu and her husband will return to work in the NML. Yet beyond the administrative dimension of this complicated affair, it is largely also a matter of intelligence analysis and assessment, which might constitute a 'gray area'. A challenge for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. Time will tell, sooner or later.
Dr. Dany Shoham is a senior researcher at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Bar Ilan University, Israel and specialises on biological and chemical warfare in the Middle East and worldwide.
- 1.Pauls, Karen, Ouster of researchers from National Microbiology Lab still a mystery, CBC News, Jul 23, 2019
- 2.Blackwell, Tom, Bio-warfare experts question why Canada was sending lethal viruses to China, National Post (Canada), August 8 2019.
- 3.Pauls, Karen, University severs ties with two researchers who were escorted out of National Microbiology Lab, CBC News, Jul 15, 2019
- 4.de Melo J, et al, Dlx1, Dlx2, Pax6, Brn3b, and Chx10 homeobox gene expression defines the retinal ganglion and inner nuclear layers of the developing and adult mouse retina, J Comp Neurol. 2003 Jun 23;461(2):187-204.
- 5.Shahhosseini S1, Das D, Qiu X, Feldmann H, Jones SM, Suresh MR, Production and characterization of monoclonal antibodies against different epitopes of Ebola virus antigens, J Virol Methods. 2007 Jul;143(1):29-37
- 6.Alimonti J et al, Evaluation of transmission risks associated with in vivo replication of several high containment pathogens in a biosafety level 4 laboratory, Sci Rep. 2014 Jul 25;4:5824.
- 7.Limberis MP et al, Adeno-Associated Virus Serotype 9-Expressed ZMapp in Mice Confers Protection Against Systemic and Airway-Acquired Ebola Virus Infection, 2016 Dec 15;214(12):1975-1979. Epub 2016 Sep 28.
- 8.Shoham, Dany, China’s Biological Warfare Programme: An Integrative Study with Special Reference to Biological Weapons Capabilities, Journal of Defence Studies, Vol. 9, No. 2 April-June 2015, pp. 131-156
- 9.Wang, H et al, Equine-Origin Immunoglobulin Fragments Protect Nonhuman Primates from Ebola Virus Disease, J Virol. 2019 Feb 19;93(5). pii: e01548-18. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01548-18. Print 2019 Mar 1.
- 10.Zheng x et al, Treatment with hyperimmune equine immunoglobulin or immunoglobulin fragments completely protects rodents from Ebola virus infection, Sci Rep. 2016 Apr 12;6:24179. doi: 10.1038/srep24179.
- 11.Hu, J et al, Dual-Signal Readout Nanospheres for Rapid Point-of-Care Detection of Ebola Virus Glycoprotein, Anal Chem. 2017 Dec 19;89(24):13105-13111. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.7b02222. Epub 2017 Dec 1.
- 12.Zhang Q et al, Potent neutralizing monoclonal antibodies against Ebola virus infection, Sci Rep. 2016 May 16;6:25856. doi: 10.1038/srep25856.
- 13.Zhao, Y et al, Equine immunoglobulin F(ab')2 fragments protect mice from Rift Valley fever virus infection, Int Immunopharmacol. 2018 Nov;64:217-222. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2018.09.002. Epub 2018 Sep 7.
- 14.Zhu W, Zhang Z, He S, Wong G, Banadyga L, Qiu X. Successful treatment of Marburg virus with orally administrated T-705 (Favipiravir) in a mouse model.Antiviral Res. 2018;151:39–49. doi:10.1016/j.antiviral.2018.01.011
- 15.Waldmeir, Patti, and Hornby, Lucy, Chinese company develops Ebola treatment, Financial Times, October 9, 2014
- 16.Editorial, Canada revokes lab access to Chinese virologist Qiu Xiangguo, The Standard, 15 Jul 2019
- 17.Canadian government scientist under investigation trained staff at Level 4 lab in China; CBC, 3 October 2019.
- 18.Xia, Han; Huang, Yi; Ma, Haixia; Liu, Bobo; Xie, Weiwei; Song, Donglin; Yuan, Zhiming (2019), Biosafety Level 4 Laboratory User Training Program, China". Emerging Infectious Diseases. 25 (5), 2019. doi:10.3201/eid2505.180220
- 19.Young, Leslie, NATO chief warns of threat of industrial espionage from other nations, Global News, July 16, 2019
- 20.Brannan JM et al, Post-exposure immunotherapy for two ebolaviruses and Marburg virus in nonhuman primates, Nature Communications, 2019 Jan 10;10(1):105.
The CCP regards the intellectual property theft as a critical strategy for its rise becoming a great nation and its invasion of the world. Many Chinese researchers are either the CCP’s spies or lacking moral consciousness. Some of them cannot resist the temptation of huge benefits provided by the CCP and some of them feel obligatory with the calling of patriotism. They use the convenience of their work and research in the West to steal technologies and stealthily, provide them to the CCP. In this incidence, two Chinese-Canadian scientists secretly stole biological viral samples, which provided valuable data and samples for viral research, to the CCP, and should be hold responsible for the outbreak of coronal virus in Wuhan.
Chinese Communist Party masters and develops deadly bacteria as a weapon of Biological warfare — (Israel Military Intelligence Agency). See how they have cultivated the export of “talent” to steal Western intellectual Property during decades.
In July 2019, the “spy” couple and their Chinese students were taken away from the Manitoba National Microbiology Laboratory. The University of Manitoba announced the dismissal of the Qiu couple.
Please look down at their relationship with this Wuhan Coronavirus.
Chinese bacterial thief Qiu Xiangguo and her husband Chen Keding
Qiu Xiangguo was taken out of a Canadian laboratory, former colleague said shocked
The National Microbiology Laboratory in which Qiu Xiangguo onced worked is the only Pathogen Level 4 laboratory in Canada. It is one of the few laboratories in North America that has the ability to handle pathogens such as Ebola virus which needs the highest level of seal. It is also one of the 15 laboratories of Pathogen Level 4 in the world and the only one in Canada.
She was born in 1964
In 1980, she was admitted to Hebei Medical College at the age of 16
Graduated from Hebei Medical University in 1985
Postgraduate Student of Immunology, Tianjin Medical University, in 1990
In many materials, she covered up visiting at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston in 1996 as a guest scientist
In 1997, she was assistant research fellow in University of Manitoba Cancer Treatment Center
In 2003, she joined Special Pathogen Project of the National Microbiology Laboratory
Her husband, Cheng Keding is also under investigation. He is a biologist and has even participated in the treatment and defense of Ebola virus. He has published papers about AIDS, SARS and coliform bacteria. The couple has been working with a team of Chinese students and cooperated with Wuhan Institute of Virology.
About MD Anderson and Yueyin venture capital and Yueyin Datong (Tianjin) Asset Management Co., Ltd. Look, these belong to Wang Qishan. The Qiu Xiangguo couple has always been in touch with Tianjin Medical College.
The latest Canadian media’s investigation found that just two months before Dr. Qiu was taken away, Canada national microbiology laboratory she worked in sent live Ebola and Henipavirus to China with the via Air Canada. The destination was Beijing.
Before the incident, Qiu Xiangguo served as the leader of the laboratory’s special virus project team-vaccine development and antiviral treatment group, and was responsible for research work related with Ebola virus.
The viruses were shipped to the Chinese Academy of Sciences bypassed the laboratory’s procedure and protocols and without additional documentation to protect Canadian intellectual property. Researchers engaged in cutting-edge high-containment research at the National Microbiology Laboratory are not allowed to ship anything to other national laboratories without consulting with the Intellectual Property Office and reaching a material transfer agreement.
In 1996, she entered the United States as a member of Thousand Talents Program, and then moved to the Canadian laboratory. Over the years, Qiu Xiangguo has recruited a large number of Chinese students and visited to Chinese universities regularly. Look! The Ebola antibodies that she developed together with Tsinghua. The weird thing is ZMapp is a California company producing vaccines !! Check if it belongs to Jiang Mianheng? !!
According to travel documents obtained by the Canadian CBC, Qiu Xiangguo traveled to China at least five times in 2017-2018, including providing training program for science and technology personnel in a newly established P4 laboratory in China, which is engaged in the most deadly pathogen research.
Wuhan P4 Bio Lab ! ? !!
Look at here! Wuhan Virus Laboratory is accredited to conduct research on three types of viruses: Ebola, Congo-Crimea hemorrhagic fever and Henipavirus. Isn’t all smuggled out of Canadian laboratories by Qiu Xiangguo? !!
Wuhan Wuhan Wuhan
Wang Qishan, Meng Jianzhu
The Canadian Mounted Police investigated Qiu Xiangguo in July and took her away from the laboratory. Newly exposed documents show that Qiu Xiangguo was invited to the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences for two consecutive years, twice a year for up to two weeks at a time. Public Health Canada says Qiu’s actions could be “violating policies.”
The Chinese Communist Party’s cover blows up.
The United States and Canada already have the intelligence.
The document obtained by the CBC showed that “Qiu’s visit was funded by a third party”, but the third party’s name was erased from the document. During her trip from September 19th to 30th, 2017, she also met with collaborators in Beijing, and the names of the participants in the meeting were also erased.
When the Chinese government introduced Qiu, it misled people to believe that she invented the ZMapp’s drug.
Police documents show that Xiangguo also visited some academic institutions such as the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Tsinghua University, and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, and gave speeches at several conferences when she visited China.
This 4/5/2018 CCTV‘s report is the proof. Virus is flowing from Wuhan bio laboratory. And the Chinese Communist party has a vaccine. So why not give it to the patients? When are you going to “fight fires”?
In 2014, The Canadian government claims that China leads the cyber attack on the Canadian National Research Council.
In fact, the Qiu couple is just two examples in the Chinese Thousand Talents Program. There are more scientists there stealing intellectual properties for the CCP.
Websites and social media users claim that the new coronavirus discovered in the city of Wuhan may have been created in Canada and stolen by Chinese spies. This is false; Canadian health and federal police officials say it has no factual basis, and experts say evidence indicates the virus has a natural origin.
“Corona virus developed in Canada and stolen by China?” reads the headline of this article from January 22, 2020. It appears to be the first of a series of such claims about the novel coronavirus, which caused an outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan before spreading elsewhere in the country and around the world.
Other social media users soon shared similar versions of the claim, referring to the investigation of two Chinese virologists in Canada in 2019. Kyle Bass, an American hedge fund manager who is currently shorting Hong Kong’s currency, falsely claimed on Twitter that a “Chinese spy team” sent pathogens “to the Wuhan facility.” He was retweeted 12,500 times, and screenshots of the tweet were shared on Facebook.
The claims appear to be based on a mischaracterization of August 2019 reports about a transfer of Ebola and Nipah viruses from a Canadian lab to Beijing, and an apparently separate issue involving two Chinese researchers at Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnipeg, in the central province of Manitoba.
The NML is part of the federal Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), whose senior media officer Tammy Jarbeau told AFP by email that “this is disinformation. (These) statements made on social networks have no factual basis.”
The RCMP investigation
In July 2019, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reportedthat two researchers with ties to China were removed from the NML in Winnipeg by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for a possible “policy breach.” The article did not mention the coronavirus.
Robert Cyrenne, spokesman for the RCMP in Manitoba, told AFP by email that “there is no connection between the outbreak in China and any RCMP investigation. Any reporting of such is misinformation.”
Cyrenne confirmed to AFP that the investigation involving the researchers is still ongoing.
Dr Xiangguo Qiu, who helped develop a treatment for the Ebola virus, her husband Keding Cheng, a biologist who has published papers on coronavirus strains such as SARS-CoV, and Chinese students working under them had their security access revoked for Canada’s only level-4 lab, a facility equipped for research on the deadliest diseases.
The virus transfer
Claims that the novel coronavirus was created in Canada refer to another report involving the NML. One month after Qiu, Cheng and the students were escorted off premises, CBC reported that live Ebola and Nipah viruses had been shipped to Beijing in March 2019 for research.
PHAC officials told CBC that all procedures were followed for the shipment of those level-4 pathogens, the deadliest. But the short interval between the Air Canada flight they were transported on and Qiu and Cheng’s removal led to suspicion that the two events could be connected.
The RCMP declined to comment on any potential connection between the investigation and the virus shipment to Beijing.
Bass’s tweet claims that Qiu was suspended for sending pathogens to Wuhan. In fact, the two pathogens were sent to Beijing, and were not coronaviruses.
The University of Manitoba, with which Qiu and Cheng were affiliated, has ended their non-salaried appointments and re-assigned the students working with them, a spokesperson told the Canadian Press.
Natural origin of virus
In a letter published on February 19, 2020 in The Lancet medical journal, a group of public health scientists made a statement about the origins of the novel coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 disease. (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30418-9/fulltext ... Note that one of the names is Peter
“We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin. Scientists from multiple countries have published and analysed genomes of the causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and they overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife, as have so many other emerging pathogens,” they said.
A team of scientists led by Shan-Lu Liu of The Ohio State University also concluded that there is no “credible evidence” that the virus -- officially known as SARS-CoV-2 -- was engineered in a laboratory, in research published on February 26, 2020.
According to the Canadian government, as of March 24, 2020, there were 1,959 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection across the country. Twenty-seven people have died.