A biotech company based in Israel has recently released the results of its first clinical trials of HIV drug Gammora. The results are bringing hope to all those who are affected by this virus. The drug has been found to eliminate up to 99% of the HIV within four weeks of the treatment. The firm is called Zion Medical and Gammora is an innovative treatment which consists of a synthetic peptide compound derived from the HIV-derived integrase. The integrase is enzymes which produce retroviruses such as HIV and enable their genetic material to be integrated into the DNA of the infected cell.
Gammora stimulates the integration of multiple HIV DNA fragments into the host cell’s genomic DNA. This causes the infected cell to self-destruct. Dr. Esmira Naftali, head of development at Zion Medical, said, “These first clinical results were beyond our expectations and promised hope in finding a cure for a disease that’s been discovered over 35 years. 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.”
We want to thank everyone for their interest in the promising results of our first clinical trial. Like you, we are hopeful that #Gammora may one day offer those affected by #HIV a viable path to ridding themselves of infection. Much work remains in this mission… 1/2
— ZionMedical (@Zion_Medical) November 6, 2018
The commercially available HIV treatment these days work by suppressing the spread of the virus but do not offer any cure for the infection. HIV patients can hope for an improved lifespan but cannot get rid of the disease altogether. However, Zion Medical peptide has the potential to destroy all the cells carrying the HIV virus-genome which offers a real cure for infected patients. The clinical trials found that most patients showed a significant reduction of the viral load of up to 90% from the baseline during the first four weeks. In the second part of the study, Gammora was further combined with additional retroviral treatments which led to a further 99% reduction in viral load from baseline within four weeks. During the 10 weeks of tests, Gammora was found to be safe and tolerable for the patients, and no side effects were reported as well.
Gammora was also found to boost the CD4 cell count of the patients up to 94% from the baseline. CD4 cells which are also referred to as T cells or T helper cells are the cells which kill the HIV. They are the white blood cells that play a vital role in the human immune system. When the HIV infection spreads, the CD4 cells decline significantly. A person will be diagnosed with AIDS when that cell count falls below 200, and they are considered to be at a higher risk of developing severe illness. The CD4 cell count of a healthy individual is about 500-1500. There is still a long way when the cure will be assured, however, it has yet gotten a step closer.