A new medication that is being developed by an Israeli startup company together with Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot hopes to lead to a breakthrough in the battle against AIDS. According to the new approach, the virus could potentially be fully cured rather than its reproduction only being delayed.
Illustration Photo Credit: Reuters / Channel 2 News
The news coming from the Neve Or AIDS treatment and research center at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot could yet prove to be dramatic, as experiments conducted recently at the center on a new Israeli medication gives new hope in the battle against AIDS.
During the experiments, the medication was injected into test tubes carrying the blood of AIDS patients and HIV carriers that are being treated at the hospital. Within eight days, the presence of the virus in the test tubes decreased by up to 97%. “The medication intensifies a certain process during the infection period and this results in the death of cells,” explained Prof. Abraham Loyter from the Department of Biological Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who developed the active ingredient in the medication.
The AIDS medication that exists today delays the virus’s reproduction process but does not exterminate it – that is why patients with AIDS are not cured but rather remain carriers of the virus, which continues to attack the body once the treatment is stopped. The new medication works according to a different approach. “In our approach, we eliminate the cells so there’s no chance that the virus will return one day because there’s no cells, or there will be no cells, containing the virus,” Loyter explained.
The medication is being developed by an Israeli startup company called Zion Pharmaceuticals and together with Kaplan Medical Center, they hope to start experiments on AIDS patients and HIV carriers within a year’s time. However, the company stressed that there is still a long way to go before the medication is approved.