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GOODNEWS: New HIV Drug Eliminates 99% Of Virus Within Four Weeks — Israeli Coy

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Zion Medical, an Israeli biotech company developing HIV and cancer treatments, has announced the results of the first clinical trial of HIV-drug Gammora, eliminating up to 99 percent of the HIV virus within four weeks of treatment.

Investigational Medicinal Product Gammora is a synthetic peptide compound derived from the HIV enzyme integrase, which is responsible for inserting the virus’s genetic material into the DNA of the infected cell.

Gammora stimulates the integration of multiple HIV DNA fragments into the host cell’s genomic DNA, to an extent that triggers the self-destruction of the infected cell, called apoptosis.

The peptide, produced by San Diego, California-based PolyPeptide Labs, has the potential to cure HIV infected patients, by destroying all cells carrying the HIV virus-genome.

This is opposed to the commercially available retroviral treatments, the so-called “cocktail,” which merely suppresses the spreading of the virus, but do not cure the infection.

Between July and August 2018, Zion Medical conducted a Phase 1/2a human clinical trial of Gammora, reaffirming results of prior preclinical tests that had shown the safety and effectiveness of the drug in killing HIV-infected cells.

In the Part I of this trial, nine HIV-infected patients at the Dr. Ronald Bata Memorial Hospital in Entebbe, Uganda, were randomly assigned to receive either 0.05-0.2 mg/kg, or 0.1- 0.3 mg/kg, or 0.2-0.4 mg/kg of Gammora for up to four weeks to five weeks.

Most patients showed a significant reduction of the viral load of up to 90 percent from the baseline during the first four weeks.

In Part II of the study, conducted two weeks after the first, patients were given Gammora with additional retroviral treatment combined for another four weeks to five weeks.

Patients received either commercially available lopinavir 800 mg and ritonavir 200 mg (LPV+r) daily in combination with Gammora 0.2-0.4 mg/kg given twice a week, or LPV+r only.

The results found that combined-treated patients demonstrated sustained viral suppression and achieved HIV-1 RNA <300 copies/mL, and showed up to 99 per cent reduction in viral load from baseline within four weeks.

Through the 10 weeks, patients in both studies demonstrated that Gammora is a safe and well-tolerable drug, exhibiting no side effects.

Patients showed a significant increase of the CD4 cell count – up to 97 percent from the baseline.

CD4 cells, also referred to T cells or T helper cells, play an important role in the body’s immune system and are an indicator of its overall health.

“These first clinical results were beyond our expectations and promise hope in finding a cure for a disease that’s been discovered over 35 years,” says Dr. Esmira Naftali, head of development at Zion Medical. “Given the limited nature of this study, we are excited to prove the efficiency of our drug in Phase 2b with a greater number of participants over a longer period of time.”

Abraham Loyter, professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, first started research on this novelty drug about 10 years ago, having been granted patents for the peptide in 2015 and 2017 (U.S. Patent No. 9163067, 9738878).

Zion Medical in-licensed the compound and has been continuing research and development through pre-clinical and clinical stages, building an entire team of researchers around the development of Gammora.

On August 31, 2018, Zion Medical filed another patent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for an updated version of the peptide and final drug composition.

New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital has collaborated with Zion in earlier stages of development and might partner with the company again in the future.

The company hopes to start Phase 2b in the coming months, involving around 50 patients that are given Gammora over two to three months.

Israel-based Zion Medical was established in 2014 with the mission to develop groundbreaking medical solutions for HIV/AIDS and cancer.

It is known for its patented synthetic peptide Gammora, which is derived from the HIV enzyme integrase and has been proven to be effective in killing HIV-infected cells, and which has also shown promising results with some types of cancers cells.

PR Newswire.

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Gov. Ahmed Raises Alarm On By-Election

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The Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has raised the alarm over the influx of suspected political thugs into the state as the by-election for Ekiti, Irepodun and Isin Federal Constituency approaches.

Ahmed, who declared that the state is under siege, said this on Tuesday when he received Concerned Kwara South Youth at the Government House, Ilorin.

The Governor expressed fear over the redeployment of Divisional Police Officers in Kwara South Senatorial District by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, alleging that the IGP’s actions at this critical period called for serious concern.

Ahmed further explained that ordinarily government should have been excited with the police action of restrategizing to ensure free, fair and credible election, but past experiences have shown that the police was not sincere and faithful with the move.

According to him: “Past experiences in both Ekiti and Osun States had proven that the police force is trying to support the opposition to manipulate the by-election.

“Credible information reaching us proves that the police are conniving with the opposition to cause mayhem and intimidate our people and get them disfranchised in the by-election.”

The Governor warned against threatening of the country’s democracy with the actions of the IGP and appealed to the Presidency to call Idris to order.

Speaking earlier, leader of the protesting youths, Comrade Felix Alaba, threw their weight behind the Governor and praised him for the developmental projects across the state.

Alaba also expressed concerns over the influx of strangers into Kwara South Senatorial District as the by-election is fast approaching, explaining that the rate at which strangers are arriving their communities calls for concern.

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How Sanwo-Olu Wants To Use Technology, Collaboration and Internet Access To Build the Future Of Lagos —– By Funke Phillips

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Lagos State speaking at different events in Lagos talked about how technology, collaboration, and internet access are very important parts of the future of Lagos he wants to build.

Speaking at an event at the Vibranium Valley, a digital technology hub in Lagos employing over 1,500 Nigerians with a 5 years plan of employing 45,000 people, he said;

“Technology is changing the way we live, work and socialize. Social and governance problems are also solved with technological innovations especially in a city-state such as Lagos with a Gross Domestic Product of more than $136b dollars. A huge investment in technology and the creation of expansive learning facilities will help us reach the Lagos we want faster”.

According to the World Economic Forum, by 2030, one in five people will be African. Combining the continent’s soaring population with technology, improvements in infrastructure, health and education, Africa can become the next century’s economic growth powerhouse.

Lagos as one of the fastest growing African city-states in the world and a GDP more than many countries has a key role to play in helping Africa become the economic growth powerhouse, and only leaders with the right vision, know-how and willpower can put in place the structures that are required to accelerate this growth.

Technology and the Future of Lagos

A visionary leader selects the necessary resources required for the journey long before the journey begins and Sanwo-Olu has taken such a step with the selection of Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, a man who has driven the development of complex technology systems at different levels of the private and public sectors as his running mate.

Speaking at an event in Lagos this week, he went on to emphasize his stance by first making a pledge to provide institutional and infrastructural support for the growth and development of the technology sector in the State if elected as Governor in 2019.

‘‘I’m aware that technology is the oil of today. Some ten years ago, the richest companies in the world were oil and energy giants, but the tide has changed. What we have today are technology companies dominating the global economic space. With technology, transparency and accountability in government become easier and possible. Technological innovations are helping social enterprise address social problems. Tech is accelerating SME evolutions and the impact of this is positive on the economy, which gives everyone a share of the prosperity created by this system,” he said.

Collaboration and The Future of Lagos

Collaboration is a very important part of the future of Lagos, and past governors of Lagos have demonstrated the importance of collaboration with different Public-Private Partnership projects that have made the lives of the citizens and residents of Lagos easier.

Beyond collaborating on that level, Babajide Sanwo-Olu at an event talked about how when elected, his government would partner with the private sector in education, health, security, and transportation to solve social issues, create employment opportunities and support entrepreneurship.

Internet Access and The Future of Lagos

On November 11th, 2018, Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the Leisure Mall in Surulere, Lagos launched the “Sanwo Free WiFi” initiative, that will over the next couple of weeks be launched in other parts of the state.

Internet access is a big leveler and Mr. Sanwo Olu has demonstrated his understanding of the key part it has to play in closing the gap between Lagos and the rest of the world.

There are so many big ideas in Lagos, almost as much as in Silicon Valley, but a major differentiating factor is access to the Internet and the lack of adequate infrastructure to aid software development.

Lagos is the Silicon Valley of Nigeria because we have the largest cluster of technology hubs. Lagos as a state has about 28 hubs while the entire country of South Africa has 59 hubs. Babajide Sanwo-Olu understands how important Lagos is in the plan for tech advancement in Africa and knows that the sheer amount of talent breeding in hubs like CcHub, iDEA hub, Wennovation Hub, Leadpath Nigeria, Vibranium Valley, Zone Tech Park and even our Ikeja Computer Village just to mention a few needs to be harnessed properly.

He has promised that his administration will listen, get input and put forth customized solutions. His support for the tech industry is absolute because it is an extremely vital part of our economy.

The Future of Lagos is now. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is now and the future.

 

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Buhari Lists Conditions For Restructuring

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday gave conditions to be fulfilled before the government can go into the restructuring of the country.

He pointed out that there should be a proper definition of what Nigerians want before the government can delve into restructuring the country.

The President also noted that many Nigerians who have been calling for restructuring have been doing so without defining what the restructuring should be.

Buhari, who spoke during the interactive session with Nigerians living in France, was in the country for the Peace Forum attended by about 70 world leaders in Paris.

The Nigerian community, which was made up of Nigerian Diaspora Organization (NIDO), All Progressives Congress (APC) members in France, students and friends of Nigeria, asked the President questions ranging from restructuring, security, anti-corruption, education and opportunity for Nigerians in the diaspora to vote in 2019 general elections.

The President said; “There are too many people talking lazily about restructuring in Nigeria. Unfortunately, people are not asking them individually what do they mean by restructuring? What form do they want restructuring to take?

“Do they want us to have something like the three regions we used to have? And now we have 36 states and the FCT. What form do they want? They are just talking loosely about restructuring.

“Let them define it and then we see how we can peacefully do it in the interest of Nigerians.

“They are just saying they want Nigeria restructured and they don’t have the clue of what the form the restructuring should be.

“So, anybody who talks to you about restructuring in Nigeria, ask him what he means and the form he wants it to take,” he stated.

He also gave reasons why Nigerians in diaspora might not vote in the 2019 general elections.

According to him, it will be very difficult for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to put in place structures to accommodate them with just about three months to the 2019 elections.

Noting that the increasing Nigeria population in the diaspora supports the calls for their participation in electing Nigeria leaders, he said that it might not happen in the 2019 general elections as INEC had been more focused on strengthening and consolidating on its achievements to conduct credible elections within the country.

But he said that Nigerians in diaspora would definitely participate in future elections.

Buhari said “We want to secure the Nigeria votes first before we go foreign. We are going to strengthen the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be more independent and viable …. so that they can recruit more committed and educated Nigerians to be in charge and use technologies to get the votes from all the constituencies.

“So, with the way the economy is now, I think with the elections in three months’ time, it will be very difficult for INEC and the government to organize quality survey of those that are outside,” he said.

Responding to the question on education in Nigeria, the President said that his administration is doing its best to invest more in infrastructures, education and other sectors.

The Nigerian elites, he said, disappointed Nigeria and the Nigerian masses under the sixteen years administrations of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

According to him, so much waste has gone down the drain from the huge resources earned in during the PDP administrations in the country between 1999 and 2015.

He said that there was nothing to show for the earnings including the $16 billion said to have been spent on power.

He urged Nigerian elites, both at home and diaspora, to do more in contributing to the educational sector of the country, expressing surprise that the elites tolerated the fall in standards and structures of educational institutions despite the huge oil earnings.

He said; “So, really I have seen it all and I was disappointed in the Nigerian elites. What have they done in these sixteen years?”

“What do we have with our oil production down to half a million and the price per barrel went down to about $30, what could we have done with the infrastructure?

“You should find out the damage done by the main opposition now to the economy and the integrity of the country.

“So, we are now trying to improve infrastructures and do more in education and other areas.

“We are currently reviewing investments in the entire infrastructure of the country like road, rail and power, including investing more in education. We will certainly need to do more in education,’’ he said.

He added “I am doing my best now to utilize our resources to develop the country. We are already getting results on road, rail and power. My frustration is that some people still have plenty stolen money stashed in Europe, U S and other countries.’’

According to him, return of stolen assets in some safe heavens will bolster the administration’s current effort of investing more in critical infrastructure that directly impact on the livelihood of Nigerians.

He said that the war against terrorism will be reinforced with new weapons and hardware for the military

The challenge of abduction and kidnapping in some parts of the country, he said, will receive more attention with better gathering of intelligence.

According to him, God and technology in form of card readers and Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) won the Presidential elections for him in 2015 despite not succeeding in three earlier times.

“We campaigned on three key issues; security, improving the economy, and fighting corruption, and we have not been controverted by anyone that we have not recorded some results,’’ he said.

Speaking earlier, the Nigerian Ambassador to France, Dr. Modupe Irele, said that the Nigerian community in France had demonstrated high sense of responsibility, dedication and morality.

According to her, the large number of professionals had been encouraged to also contribute to the country’s development.

“Nigerians here are law abiding, peaceful and resourceful,’’ she said.

President Buhari’s commitment to change, she noted, will make Nigeria the envy of other African countries.

Speaking to journalists at the end of the interactive session, Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, said that it was very important for President Buhari to attend the Peace Forum in Paris.

He said “President Muhammadu Buhari has been preaching for peace, especially when he came on board, he met our country religiously and ethnically divided.

“I think it is important that he meets with other world leaders to discuss how peace can be promoted among the nations and various people of the world.

“There is no way you can promote peace where there is massive corruption. Massive corruption deprives people of development, and if there is no development, there won’t be any peace.” he said

Willy Obiano of Anambra State said that it is important for Nigeria to be emphasizing peace.

In the education sector, he said that the state has invested a lot of money into the sector in the last four years.

He said “We revamped 1482 primary and secondary schools. We have sent our teachers to Singapore and Germany for training.

“More importantly, what my administration has done in Anambra State with respect to education is to reach the … end of Anambra State.” he said

House of Reps member, Nasir Ali Ahmed, representing Nasarawa Federal constituency of Kano State, said that the interactive session was a very successful meeting.

He hoped that a lot of the Nigerians living in France will come back home to contribute their quota to Nigeria’s development.

Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, a Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Affairs, recently nominated Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Diaspora Commission, who facilitated the meeting, said that a lot of Nigerians living in France are already doing many things at home for the economy.

“So, we will continue to engage with them and continue to stress the positivity about our country, Nigeria,” she said

Stressing that there are some Nigerians in prisons in France, she said that Nigerians are being encouraged to obey the laws of the land wherever they go.

She also pointed out that the new commission is not a charity organization, but aims to tap into the enormous resources of Nigerians in the diaspora.

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