A TEAM of medical researchers believes they are on the cusp of developing a cure for HIV, after an initial human clinical trial delivered astounding results.
In the first phase of testing, the drug Gammora eliminated up to 99 per cent of the virus within the first four weeks of treatment, it was announced today.
Zion Medical, an Israeli biotech company, has worked in conjunction with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, on the trials.
The groundbreaking results showed the drug significantly reduced the viral load in human subjects by killing HIV-infected cells without harming healthy ones.
While it’s the first stage of exploration and a small-scale start, it has offered significant hope of a potential cure for the virus, which first emerged 35 years ago.
“These first clinical results were beyond our expectations and promise hope in finding a
cure for the disease,” Dr Esmira Naftali, head of development at Zion Medical, said.
In July and August, nine patients at Ronald Bata Memorial Hospital in Uganda were randomly assigned to receive different doses of Gammora for between four to five weeks.
“Most patients showed a significant reduction of the viral load of up to 90% from the baseline during the first four weeks,” Dr Naftali said.
In the second part of the trial, conducted two weeks later, patients were given the drug with additional retroviral treatment for another four to five weeks.
The results showed the combined treatments eliminated up to 99 per cent of the viral load in those patients in four weeks.
Those patients participating in the trial exhibited no signs of negative side effects and the drug is non-toxic.
During the total 10-week study, patients in both groups showed a “significant” increase in T cell counts, which play a significant role in the immune system’s function.