News » Aileen Chang, MD, MSPH, is a Finalist for CureAccelerator Live!

Aileen Chang, MD, MSPH, is a Finalist for CureAccelerator Live!

George Washington University (GW) researcher Aileen Chang, MD, MSPH, is a finalist for CureAccelerator Live! for the Developing World. The event is a philanthropic pitch competition that gives attendees the chance to select and award $50,000 of funding for the next breakthrough clinical repurposing treatment.

CureAccelerator Live! is hosted by Cures Within Reach, a philanthropic leader in drug, device, and nutraceutical repurposing research, which has the potential to transform the lives of patients with unsolved diseases by delivering treatments that can be used in the near-term.

Chang, an assistant professor of medicine and of microbiology, immunology, and tropical medicine at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, will deliver her pitch, “Repurposing a Flu Treatment for Severe Dengue Patients in Colombia,” at the event.

“Dengue viruses are among the leading causes of pediatric morbidity and mortality globally,” she said. “Low and lower-middle income countries suffer from infections disproportionately, due to lack of health care infrastructure and capacity to manage dengue cases.”

Chang is recommending further investigation of the medication Zanamivir, which has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration to treat Influenza A and B. The treatment has been shown to decrease vascular leakage caused by dengue, which is the primary cause of death in severe infections.

“If we can show Zanamivir is effective, it could offer a potentially safe treatment to improve morbidity and mortality caused by dengue,” said Chang.

Chang and four other finalists will pitch their treatments at the CureAccelerator Live! event on at 5 p.m. on May 23 at Takeda Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information or to register, visit cureswithinreach.org/newsroom/event-calendar/cureaccelerator-live-developingworld.