Armenia Pursuing Armenicum Clinical Trials

YEREVAN (Itar-Tass)–Another HIV-infected patient has finished a treatment regimen using an anti-AIDS drug–Armenicum–developed by Armenian scientists.

The director of the Agency for Drugs and Medical Technologies of the Armenian Health Ministry–vice president of the National Academy of Sciences Emil Gabrielyan said at a press conference Tuesday that a 20-year-old resident of Russia’s Kaliningrad region–Nikolai Kolesnikov–had completed his treatment with Armenicum.

Armenia recently reported–through its national security minister–the discovery of the new drug that was said to provide a specific treatment for the human immunodeficiency virus–commonly known as HIV–infection rather than veil its symptoms. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS

Gabrielyan said the patient was admitted for treatment in early March–and would stay in Armenia for a while for follow-up examinations.

He said the before the treatment the patient showed general fatigue–skin irritation and loss of appetite–but the symptoms cleared following the treatment.

He said Kolesnikov’s count of CD-T lymphocytes was 470 per microlitre of blood at the time of hospitalization for the treatment. He said currently he CD-T rate had increased to 1,150 after the treatment–a normal range being 800 to 1,200.

Gabrielyan said the patient’s ratio of CD4T to CD8 lymphocytes was drastically decreased by the treatment–suggesting a rapid improvement of the immune system.

HIV affects cell-mediated immunity and systemic immunity–depicted by lymphocyte counts and their ratios–leaving an AIDS patient prone to and unable to cope with infections.

Gabrielyan said 13 more patients had been through Armenicum treatment– and some types of cells were found to shed residual amounts of the HIV after the treatment only in six patients.

He said 44 patients were being treated with the Armenian-made drug–including Armenian–Russian and Ukrainian nationals–and one national from an Arab country.

Gabrielyan cited a letter which he said he sent a month ago to the European Regional Office of the World Health Organization with the request of international assistance for clinical trials of the new drug.

He also addressed a request to a delegate of the WHO drug department at an international scientific conference in Berlin.

Gabrielyan said various countries had shown interest in Armenicum. A delegation from neighboring Georgia recently visited the Armenian National Academy of Sciences with questions about the drug–and the Japanese Iskra corporation asked for findings of Armenia’s latest clinical trials of Armenicum and prospects of a license for its use in Japan.

If patients long remain HIV-negative–following six to 12 injections of Armenicum–this could be seen as a colossal achievement–Gabrielyan said.

He said follow-up examinations of treated patients for five to six months had shown only mild side effects like blood vessel inflammation at injection sites and headache.

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