Human trials for HIV drug begin in China: Report
If the trials are successful, the medicine might be available on the market within two years, the report said.india Updated: Feb 23, 2006 09:57 IST
Human trials for a new drug to fight HIV and Hepatitis B have begun in China, raising hope for a cheaper alternative treatment for AIDS sufferers, state media reported on Thursday.
A research team at the Academy of Military Medical Sciences recently began a six-month clinical trial on 200 healthy volunteers, the China Daily reported.
If the trials are successful, the medicine might be available on the market within two years, the report said, quoting Dong Junxing, a scientist at the institution.
"If clinical experiments back up initial findings, the compound will be an irreversible HIV and Hepatitis B virus integrase inhibitor, which provides a new alternative for AIDS and hepatitis B treatment," Dong said.
Extracted from a Chinese herb called Inula britannic, the drug has proven to be able to work on both viruses in a way different from other HIV medicines currently on the market, he said.
The price of the new drug may be "much lower" than other medicines currently available, Dong said, since scientists are able to synthesise the drug chemically instead of having to extract it from herbs.