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HIV/AIDS: Michael Okpara var­si­ty dis­cov­ers new cure

Umuahia – Prof. Fran­cis Otun­ta, the Vice Chan­cel­lor (VC), Michael Okpara Uni­ver­si­ty of Agri­cul­ture, Umudike, Abia, has con­firmed the dis­cov­ery of a new drug for the treat­ment and cure of HIV/AIDS by the insti­tu­tion.

Otun­ta told news­men at the uni­ver­si­ty cam­pus on Wednes­day that the find­ing fol­lowed years of sci­en­tif­ic research by the insti­tu­tion.
He said that the break­through was made by Prof. Maduike Ezeibe, a researcher in the uni­ver­si­ty.
Accord­ing to him, Ezeibe had pre­sent­ed the drug to the Uni­ver­si­ty man­age­ment, Sen­ate and Coun­cil, where he explained the process­es he went through to arrive at his find­ing.
The VC also said that Ezeibe had equal­ly pre­sent­ed the drug to his col­leagues in the med­ical field and nobody had con­tra­dict­ed his find­ing.
“Prof. Ezeibe is a researcher in Vet­eri­nary Med­i­cine and one may won­der how he dis­cov­ered a drug to cure a human ail­ment,” he said.
He com­mend­ed Ezeibe for the break­through, say­ing: “He has brought hon­our to the Uni­ver­si­ty and we are proud of him.”
Otun­ta said that the uni­ver­si­ty was in the process of mass pro­duc­ing the drug for fur­ther clin­i­cal tri­als on per­sons liv­ing with HIV/AIDS in the coun­try.
Ezeibe, who is a pro­fes­sor of Vet­eri­nary Med­i­cine and Clin­i­cal Virol­o­gy, said that the drug was pro­duced with Alu­minum Sil­i­cate and Mag­ne­sium Sil­i­cate (Syn­thet­ic Alu­minum-Mag­ne­sium Sil­i­cate).
He said that the two min­er­als “are already in use as med­i­cines for the treat­ment of var­i­ous ani­mal and human dis­eases”.
He said that 10 per­sons liv­ing with the dis­ease, “who vol­un­teered’’, were made to apply through their doc­tor to the VC.
“They were treat­ed dai­ly with the Med­i­c­i­nal Syn­thet­ic Alu­minum-Mag­ne­sium Sil­i­cate (50 mg/kg),” he said.
Ezeibe said that the vol­un­teers were sub­ject­ed to month­ly tests for viral loads and CD4-lym­pho­cyte counts.
“With the antivi­ral effects of the med­i­cine, its abil­i­ty to reach all cells (as nanopar­ti­cles) and the lym­pho­cytes, there is no more hid­ing place (sanc­tu­ary) for HIV,” he said.
He said that the med­i­cine had been used to poten­ti­ate Ampi­cilin, Chloro­quine, Piper­azine and Sul­phadimidin, among oth­ers, and could be a major for­eign exchange earn­er for Nige­ria, if approved by rel­e­vant author­i­ties.
Accord­ing to him, “local and inter­na­tion­al phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies would find the prod­uct as a ver­i­ta­ble raw mate­r­i­al”.
Ezeibe said that he pre­sent­ed the research find­ings to the World Virol­o­gy Con­fer­ence in Atlanta in 2015, and Anto­nio (Texas) in 2016.
Besides, he said that the results of the lab­o­ra­to­ry tests had been pub­lished in many inter­na­tion­al sci­en­tif­ic jour­nals, includ­ing the British Jour­nal of Med­i­cine and Med­ical Research, among sev­er­al oth­ers.
He said that he was also about to sign a mem­o­ran­dum of under­stand­ing with a U.S.-based Sci­en­tif­ic Research Pub­lish­ing, pub­lish­ers of World Jour­nal of AIDS, for the pub­li­ca­tion of his book “How I came about the cure for HIV/AIDS”.
Ezeibe, who said that the med­i­cine was patent­ed in August 2014 in Nige­ria, called on the Fed­er­al Gov­ern­ment to help him to secure inter­na­tion­al paten­cy for the drug.
He said: “If com­mer­cialised, the Med­i­c­i­nal Syn­thet­ic Alu­minum-Mag­ne­sium Sil­i­cate would become an alter­na­tive for petro­le­um to the Niger­ian econ­o­my.”
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