The Vice Chancellor of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Francis Otunta, claims a new drug has been developed for the treatment and cure of Human Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV, and AIDS.
The vice chancellor told journalists that the discovery followed years of scientific research by the institution.
Otunta added that the breakthrough was made by Maduike Ezeibe, a professor and researcher in the University.
According to the VC, Ezeibe had presented the drug to the university management, senate and council, and had also disclosed the processes he undertook to arrive at his research.
He said, “Prof. Ezeibe is a researcher in Veterinary Medicine and one may wonder how he discovered a drug to cure a human ailment.
“Ezeibe has brought honour to the university.”
He further noted that the professor’s finding was not contradicted when he presented the drug to his colleagues in the medical field.
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.
However, Ezeibe, who is a professor of veterinary medicine and clinical virology, revealed that the drug was produced with Aluminum Silicate and Magnesium Silicate (Synthetic Aluminum-Magnesium Silicate).
He said both minerals “are already in use as medicines for the treatment of various animal and human diseases.”
The professor added that 10 persons living with the disease had shown interest and 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.
He 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 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.
“Local and international pharmaceutical companies would find the product as a veritable raw material.”
The professor added that he presented his research findings to the world virology conference in Atlanta in 2015, and Antonio (Texas), in 2016.
Results of the laboratory tests, he said, had been published in many international scientific journals.