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.
James Hope College Celebrates Its First Graduation Ceremony
The James Hope College (JHC) recently marked a milestone in its history. From the Founders’ Dinner on Friday, 28 June 2019 to the Graduation Ceremony on Saturday, 29 June 2019, the college celebrated its pioneer graduating set.
The Founder/Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia who is also, the Founder/Chairman of James Hope College, while giving the Founder’s Address, described the graduating set as one that has spurred growth in academics and co-curricular activities for the College. According to him, from their impressive 100% score (A* – C) recorded in 14 subjects of the IGCSE to the Duke of Edinburgh award, the graduates have set the bar for other students to scale.
Mr. Ovia also awarded full scholarships to the outgoing Head Boy and Head Girl to the University they have gained admission into, as well as scholarships to all graduates to study in government and state-owned tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Co-Founder of the College, Mrs. Kay Ovia, encouraged the students to uphold the ethos they inculcated while in school and continually strive to be better versions of themselves.
The Principal of the College, Mr. Abraham Swart, also commended the tremendous contribution of the Founders to the development of the college, adding that the students have been given the right foundation to soar.
Other notable personalities in attendance were Former VC of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oye Ibidapo-Obe and Former Visiting Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Tennessee, Memphis, Prof. L. F. O. Obika. The graduation dinner was graced with performances from celebrities like Folarin Falana (aka FalzTheBahdGuy), Otolorin Kehinde Peter (aka Kenny Blaq) and BisolaAiyeola.
James Hope College is one of the educational initiatives of the Jim Ovia Foundation, which offers its students world-class education at a subsidized rate. James Hope College is supported by an endowment fund and currently has 40% of its students on a full scholarship. It is located in the serene environment of Agbor, Delta State. Visit JHC online to learn more.
I Slept With My Brother-In-Law Thinking It Was My Husband —- Woman Tells Court
A trader, Mrs Kuditat Ajayi, 52, told an Igando Customary Court that she slept with her brother-in-law because she thought he was her husband.
Ajayi’s husband, Akande is seeking the dissolution of their 35-year-old marriage, accusing her of infidelity, NAN reports.
”I was in bed in the night when my husband’s younger brother came to the house my husband rented for me.
“I thought it was my husband who normally comes to the house at that particular time between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. to play and sleep with me.
“It was after he finished making love to me that I realized that he was not my husband.
“When I queried him, he claimed that my husband had traveled that was why he came to have sex with me.
“I reported the case to my brother’s wife, who advised me not to tell my brother so that peace can reign in the family.”
The respondent said that her husband treats the children of the other wives better than hers.
The mother of four denied being fetish as claimed by husband.
Ajayi prayed the court not to grant her husband’s wish for the dissolution of their marriage that she still love him.
The petitioner, Akande approached the court to terminate his 35-year-old marriage accusing wife of infidelity.
He said that his wife was wayward and adulterous that her man friend was claiming paternity of one of their children.
“When I married her, I rented an apartment for her because I have other wives and I don’t want them to live together.
“I started hearing from people in the area that my wife was having affair with a man, initially I ignored it until her lover came claiming ownership of one of my children.
“The man eventually came to the house but I refused to open the door for him.
“When I questioned my wife, she confessed that the man slept with her but it did not result in pregnancy.”
The 71-year-old businessman said that his wife was fetish.
“I once caught her burying something in my compound, I accosted her and tried to remove what she buried there but I could not.
“I went out before I returned, she had cemented the place.”
He begged the court to end the marriage that he was no longer interested that the love he once had for her husband had faded.
The president of the court, Mr Adeniyi Koledoye, urged the two parties to maintain peace and adjourned the case until August 22 for judgment.
Again, Oando Floors Securities Exchange Commission
Again leading oil and gas company, Oando has floored Securities Exchange Commission, SEC as Justice Ayokunle Faji, sitting at a Federal High Court in Lagos, Friday, 5 July 2019 granted leave to Oando Plc to file a motion for a judicial review of the SEC’s decision imposing a fine of N89,675,000 on it.
Justice Faji, granted “an order of certiorari bringing up to the Federal High Court for the purpose of being quashed, the decision of the first respondent (SEC) contained in its letter dated 31st May 2019”.
SEC Acting Director-General Mary Uduk, SEC and Mutiu Sunmonu, who was appointed as Oando’s interim head, are the first to third respondents.
The court also granted an order of certiorari for the quashing of SEC’s directive to Oando to convene an extraordinary general meeting on or before July 1 to appoint new directors and articulate remedial measures for alleged corporate governance lapses. The court further granted an order of certiorari for the quashing of a press release by SEC on June 1 appointing an interim management team to be headed by Mr Mutiu Sunmonu (the third respondent) to oversee Oando’s affairs.
The judge granted “an order of prohibition and/or an injunction restraining and preventing the first and second respondents by themselves, agents, servants or whomsoever, howsoever from enforcing or seeking to enforce the decision contained in the letter dated 31 May 2019.”
Justice Faji also granted “an order of prohibition and/or an injunction restraining and preventing the second respondent from enforcing or seeking to enforce the decision of the first respondent contained in the press release made on Sunday, 2 June, 2019 appointing an interim management team to be headed by the third respondent to oversee the affairs of the applicant.”
The court made “a declaration that the first and second respondents acted ultra vires and without jurisdiction in making the decision contained in the letter of 31 May 2019 which conveyed the imposition of a fine of N89,675,000 on the applicant…”
Also granted was “an order directing that the leave sought herein if granted shall operate as a suspension and or stay of the decision of the first respondent contained aforesaid in its letter of 31 May 2019 as it relates to the applicant and as contained in the press release made on 2 June 2019 appointing an interim management team to be headed by the third respondent.”
Justice Faji directed Oando to ensure service on the respondents of the order and the application for judicial review within 48hours.
He adjourned until July 22 for the hearing of the application for judicial review before the vacation judge. SEC had on May 31 announced the conclusion of an investigation of Oando and ordered its Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Wale Tinubu, his deputy Mr Omamofe Boyo, and other affected board members to resign. It barred Tinubu and Boyo from being directors of public companies for a period of five years.
SEC subsequently set up an interim management team headed by Sunmonu to oversee Oando’s affairs and to conduct an Extraordinary General Meeting on or before July 1.
In an ex-parte application filed through their counsel, Olasupo Shasore (SAN), Tinubu and Ojo prayed for an order of certiorari to quash SEC’s purported imposition of N91,125,000 fine on Tinubu.
The application was granted. Oando, also through Shasore, filed the latest application seeking for judicial review of the SEC decisions against it with a view to quashing them, which Justice Faji granted
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