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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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Aisha: I Wish My Husband’s Cabinet Will Have 41.6% Women

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Aisha Buhari, the wife of the president, says she wishes her husband cabinet will have as many women — in percentage — as the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) has in 2019.

Speaking at the unveiling event for the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) entrepreneurs for 2019, the wife of the president said she appreciates the drive of the foundation to ensure more female participation.

“The strategy vision behind the engagement of the office of the wife of the president is to contribute to the acceleration of efforts to end preventable maternal, newborn and child death through advocacy and strengthening of accountability mechanism in order to maintain the peace and development of Nigeria,” Aisha Buhari said.

“The steady advancement of women in contributing to the country’s social-economic development and their progressive prominence in the national scheme of affairs have in a large extent impacted on the federal government and the government has responded positively in many ways.

“In a bid to continue to advocate for the well-being of women, children and adolescent in Nigeria.”

Speaking about the advancement of women in the national scheme of things has helped the nation, wishing her husband will get more women into the cabinet.

“The Future Assured Programme of the Aisha Buhari Foundation, share the same vision with the Tony Elumelu Foundation to emphasise true intervention in health, education and economic development,” she added.

“It is worthy to note that there has been a progressive increase in female participation in the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme over the years, with a 41.6 percent female representation in 2019. I wish the cabinet will have the same percentage.

“Women have continued to prove their strength and competence in our society in all spheres, even in male-dominated — not in politics.”

Aisha said she “will like to take this opportunity to encourage Nigerian women, especially from the north to apply for the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme”.

She said leadership matters, and the leadership Elumelu has provided has affected his businesses and the nation, adding that “the soul of the leader always determines the political health of the state”.

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UBA’s Dupe Olusola, Among Nigeria’s 100 Most Inspiring Women In 2019

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Dupe Olushola, Group Head Marketing for United Bank for Africa was recently listed among 100 most inspiring women in Nigeria, 2019. For the 5th consecutive time, the list features 100 Nigerian women drawn from a diverse range of background and sectors who are standing out and most importantly deliberately impacting their world and local communities through the power and strength of their ideas and achievements.

They, according to Leading Ladies Africa are making great strides in the world of business, politics, advocacy, governance, and enterprise. “It’s perhaps our most diverse list yet, notes Francesca Uriri, Founder Leading Ladies Africa.

One of the Leading lights among the exceptional 100 hundred women who have made huge impact in theirs is Dupe Olushola, the Group Head Marketing for UBA groups where she provides visionary leadership with the aim development and delivery of integrated strategy for all UBA Group Bank and non-Bank subsidiaries.

She is passionate about Women Affairs and Empowerment, Economic Development of under-developed countries and Financial Inclusion for the disadvantaged in the society. Prior to her appointment at UBA Group, Dupe was CEO of Teragro.

There, she spearheaded a partnership with Coca-Cola to produce Five Alive Pulpy Orange Juice making Teragro the sole local material source for the juice. The list also includes Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin – is the Founder of Pearls Africa Youth Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization aimed at educating young girls in under-served areas in Nigeria with technology skills.

On November 1, 2018, Abisoye was named one of the 10 CNN Heroes of The Year. She was also recently listed as one of BBC’s 100 Women. A Nigerian women’s rights activist, Abisoye was recognized by ONE as Woman of the Year 2018. Abosede George-Ogan– Founder of Women in Politics- a platform that engages, encourages, equips and empowers women in Nigeria to get involved and participate in Politics.
She’s also the author of Building a Conscious Career- a book that equips career enthusiasts with necessary knowledge and resources to build a career that not only excites and rewards, but also positively affects the lives of others.

She is a tri-sector leader with over 14 years’ experience working across the non-profit, private and public sectors as a development professional. She began a career in development over a decade ago with Actionaid International Nigeria.

She has led Corporate Citizenship for Samsung Electronics West Africa and now sits as Director of Strategy, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund. Adaku Ufere-Awoonor: Award-winning energy professional with over a decade’s experience leading multicultural and multilingual teams across Africa in the structuring, negotiation and implementation of natural resource projects in Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, South Sudan, Senegal, Nigeria, South Africa, Sao Tome & Principe, Cameroon, and other Sub-Saharan countries. Her primary capacity is in the field of oil & gas, power, mining, energy policy and gender; she is particularly committed to working towards finding solutions that address and lead to the eradication of energy poverty experienced by women in rural and low-income urban areas, in developing countries.

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GTBank Builds Nigeria’s First Digital Play Centre for Children

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Banks only build branches, or so the story goes. Except for Guaranty Trust Bank Plc; the foremost African financial institution, which has been at the forefront of several innovative products and services, recently completed and opened the first digital playground for children in Nigeria.

Located in Lekki, Lagos State, the GTBank Play Centre is equipped with a wide range of interactive games that will give kids a fun and immersive digital experience whilst aiding their mental and intellectual development. Open from 10am to 3pm on Weekdays, and 10am to 1pm on Saturdays, some of the features of the Play Centre include the Sketch Town, where kids can design cars, launch rockets, and bring all their sketches to life. At the playground, children can also use the wide range of bricks available to build whatever excites their curiosity and also express themselves creatively by scribbling, writing and drawing on a digital chalkboard.

GTBank is renowned for designing innovative and personalized products and services that are tailored to customers’ unique needs and which fit seamlessly with their lifestyles. Recently, the Bank launched Habari, a digital platform that gives customers unlimited access to local and international music, and at the same time, allows them to shop online, split bills with friends and take care of their everyday needs, in one place. Habari, like the GTBank Play Centre, is the first of its kind in Nigeria, reflecting the Bank’s digital drive as well as its focus on creating unique experiences for all segments of its customer base.

Commenting on the launch of the Play Centre, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Mr Segun Agbaje said; “How and where children play contributes significantly to their cognitive and intellectual development, helping them build better communication and problem-solving skills. Our new Play Centre will give children a tension-free space to build these critical developmental skills, expose them to new and emerging digital technologies, and, most importantly, give them a wonderful time out.”

He further stated that “At GTBank we are passionate about building the bank of the future, and for us, this means constantly leveraging the best of technology to create amazing digital experiences for all of our customers, in a way that adds real value to their lives.”

Guaranty Trust Bank is one of the best run African financial institutions and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innovation. The Bank is also renowned for driving youth empowerment initiatives alongside its business, as seen with the GTCrea8 Account package, which doubles up as a platform for empowering young undergraduates with the resources and networking that they need to develop their skills and talents and build capacity in their careers of choice.

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