A researcher in veterinary medicine and clinical virology from Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike in Abia State, Nigeria, Professor Maduike Ezeibe, has discovered a drug for the treatment and cure of HIV/AIDS.
The university’s vice chancellor, Professor Francis Otunta, who made the announcement on Wednesday, said that the finding followed years of scientific research by the institution.
Ezeibe had presented the drug to the university’s Management, Senate and Council, where he explained the processes he went through to arrive at his finding, the VC said, adding that he had also presented the drug to his colleagues in the medical field and nobody had contradicted his finding.
“He has brought honour to the university and we are proud of him,” VC Otunta said.
Ezeibe said that the drug was produced with Aluminum Silicate and Magnesium Silicate (Synthetic Aluminum-Magnesium Silicate), two minerals that “are already in use as medicines for the treatment of various animal and human diseases”.
Ten volunteers living with the disease had been asked to apply through their doctor to the VC and they were treated daily with the Medicinal Synthetic Aluminum-Magnesium Silicate (50 mg/kg), he said. 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.
Ezeibe said that 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 the relevant authorities.
Otunta stated 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.
Ezeibe, who said that the medicine was patented in August 2014 in Nigeria, called on the federal government to help him to secure international patency for the drug: “If commercialised, the Medicinal Synthetic Aluminum-Magnesium Silicate would become an alternative for petroleum to the Nigerian economy.”
Local and international drug companies will find the product as a veritable raw material, said Ezeibe, adding that he presented the research findings to the World Virology Conference in Atlanta in 2015, and Antonio (Texas) in 2016.
Also, the results of the laboratory tests had been published in many international scientific journals, including the British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research, he said.
Ezeibe said that he is also about to sign a memorandum of understanding with a U.S.-based scientific research publishing company, publishers of World Journal of AIDS, for the publication of his book entitled How I came about the cure for HIV/AIDS.