Kiev, Ukraine (PRWEB) March 31, 2009
Ekomed LLC announces an award from major US granting agency, which marks an important milestone in its development of Immunoxel - specially designed as an adjunct immunotherapeutic agent for treatment of tuberculosis and AIDS.
The U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CRDF) is a nonprofit organization authorized by the U.S. Congress and established in 1995 by the National Science Foundation. This unique public-private partnership promotes international scientific and technical collaboration through grants, technical resources, and training. The CRDF and Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science had initiated the STEP Business Partnership Grant (BPG) competition so that scientists from Ukraine can continue their work on commercialization of their technology. The panel of judges gathered on March 31, 2009 at the CRDF Innovation Forum in Kyiv had selected the joint Lisichansk TB Dispensary and Ekomed proposal as one of top priority projects. This decision culminated several months of critical evaluation of two dozen proposals by peer reviewers in the USA and Ukraine.
"The CRDF award represents for us the international recognition of our work and especially the effort of our clinical collaborators without whom we would never have dreamed to be honored in such a way," said Mr. Volodymyr Pylypchuk, scientific director of the Ekomed LLC. "We are very proud that we have been selected among many other worthy projects from the Ukraine and confidence of the highly reputable US-based science agency bestowed on us will allow us to carry further work in establishing the potential of Immunoxel in treating patients with TB as well as HIV infection".
In earlier published clinical trials, the oral immunomodulating supplement Immunoxel has been shown to be very safe and highly effective as an immune adjuvant in TB patients including patients with multi-drug (MDR-TB) and extensively drug resistant TB (XDR-TB). Similar benefits were observed in patients with TB who were also dually infected with HIV (TB/HIV). While these results were published in at least nine peer-reviewed medical journals, so far no double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials were conducted to date. The CRDF grant will allow doctors to carry out such a trial, the results of which are expected to become public toward end of this year.
The WHO estimates that globally, about one-third of the world's population is infected with the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria that cause TB, and each year approximately 9 million people become ill with the disease, and 2 million of those die. TB patients with HIV are 30 times more likely to die and treatment options for them are limited. The WHO's annual report on TB issued on March 24, 2009 - the World TB day - indicated that one in four tuberculosis deaths is HIV related, which twice as many as had been recognized previously. In addition about half a million people had multidrug-resistant TB in 2007. But due to lack of adequate treatment, which can be costly and complicated, is below 1 percent. Treatment options for TB patients, particularly those living in Africa, are limited.
Ekomed is committed to development of innovative therapies that offer advantages in the treatment of infectious diseases - including TB, HIV, hepatitis, and influenza. Ekomed's efforts to develop adjunctive therapies have been under way since late 1980's. Ekomed began its HIV research back in 1998 and TB research even earlier. Ekomed is one of very few botanical companies that are committed to scientifically sound clinical and basic research according to strict international standards. Ekomed is committed to ensuring affordable access to herbal medicines for infectious diseases and other illnesses. Ekomed is also committed to seeking expanded access to people living in the world's poorest countries and those hardest hit by the AIDS and TB epidemics, including through working with partners in Africa, Asia and Australia. For more information, visit http://www.ekomed.com.ua
About Zodiac Capital
Last year Ekomed has established partnership with Zodiac Capital Limited - an investment banking group listed on Australian stock exchange. This agreement may potentially assure worldwide global access to Immunoxel, especially for needy patients who have limited or no treatment options.
CEO and Scientific Director
pylypchuk @ bk.ru
Dr. Allen Bain
Zodiac Capital Limited
allen.bain @ zodiaccap.com