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Gammora does not cure HIV [Zion misleading announcement]

An Israeli biotech company has issued a misleading announcement that has inspired some media outlets to incorrectly suggest that a brand new drug, Gammora, could be able to cure HIV.
Zion report that their study enrolled 9 patients in Uganda. For the first four weeks, patients received a brand new drug known as Gammora. “Most patients showed a major reduction of the viral load of up to 90% from the baseline throughout the primary four weeks” (emphasis added). within the second a part of the study, patients conjointly received standard antiretroviral therapy. “The results found that combined-treated patients incontestable sustained viral suppression and achieved HIV-1 RNA < 300 / mL, and showed up to 99% reduction in viral load from baseline within four weeks. This is no higher than standard antiretroviral medical care – that, of course, the trial participants were conjointly taking.

The study has not been conferred at a scientific conference, published during a peer-reviewed journal or registered with a regulatory agency. In their announcement, Zion Medical describe the mode of action as follows. “Gammora may be a synthetic peptide compound derived from the HIV enzyme integrase, that is liable for inserting the virus's genetic material into the deoxyribonucleic acid of the infected cell. Gammora stimulates the mixing of multiple HIV DNA fragments into the host cell's genomic DNA, to the extent that triggers the self-destruction of the infected cell, known as apoptosis.”

The drug seems to be a broad-spectrum disrupter of viral replication (like ribavirin, a drug previously utilised in hepatitis c treatment). It would work to limit viral proliferation in established infection and therefore the infection of additional cells (as alternative antiretroviral drugs do).

However, there's no reason it'd be active against the reservoir of latently infected cells (which already contain integrated HIV DNA). If it might cure, it'd be active against the latent reservoir.

“The HIV world has seen quackery in numerous forms for decades – sadly this smacks of a lot of it,” Prof Francois Venter of the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa commented.

“I checked out the press report and therefore the unsophisticated company website, and even if you think their claims, they're many years far away from testing them,” he said. “This offers science and scientists a bad name";

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