Ekomed presents at the 5th Congress of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease

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Promising findings from Ukrainian XDR-TB immunotherapy trial will be presented at the 5th conference of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), Europe Region, held in Dubrovnik, Croatia, between 27 and 30 May 2009. During conference all fields of tuberculosis and respiratory medicine will be covered by world renowned experts. The Immunoxel clinical study demonstrated the drastic difference between standard TB drugs alone versus TB drugs supplemented with immune adjuvant regimen consisting of Ekomed phytoconcentrates.

Ekomed LLC announces that it will make presentation at the 5th Congress of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union). Poster presentation titled "Adjunct Immunotherapy of XDR-TB" will be on display on Thursday May 28, 2009 in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

The purpose of the Congress of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), is to provide an interdisciplinary forum where investigators involved in basic, applied, and clinical research worldwide can meet to review recent developments in all areas of TB research. The Conference covers topics of current interest and concern ranging from the design and synthesis of new potential drugs to current results from clinical trials. The meeting provides a truly interdisciplinary view of contemporary TB drug research that should be of interest to biologists and clinicians. For more information on the conference please see the website at http://www.depol.org/TheUnion2009/.

The Ekomed study will summarize study in patients with XDR-TB, some of whom in addition to standard anti-TB therapy (ATT) received Immunoxel (Dzherelo), Svitanok and Lisorm - all being phyto-pharmaceutical products manufactured by Ukrainian company Ekomed. All seven patients who received adjunct immunotherapy improved clinically and radiologically and were discharged after 3.7±0.8 months, with average/median time to mycobacterial sputum clearance 28/25 days. None of five patients on TB drugs alone improved after 9 months and one had died. Patients in immune intervention group gained 9.6 kg (P=0.0001) while those on ATT alone lost 1.4 kg. The levels of total bilirubin in Immunoxel group had decreased from 15.6 to 10.7 μmol/L. Similarly, the values of alanine transaminase (ALT) declined from abnormally high 42.6 IU/L to normal levels 22.0 IU/L (P=0.23). Patients on TB drugs alone had unchanged levels of bilirubin, but their ALT declined from 29.6 to 12.0 IU/L (P=0.02). The levels of hemoglobin in Immunoxel group rose from 104.1 to 118 g/L (P=0.07), whereas leukocyte counts descended to normal levels from 8.9 to 7.3 × 109 cells/L (P=0.18). Conversely, in patients on ATT alone, leukocyte counts rose from 8.7 to 13.8 × 109 cells/L (P=0.21), whereas hemoglobin declined to below normal levels from 116.4 to 96.6 g/L (P=0.18). These results show that immune-modulating interventions can favorably influence the efficacy of TB drugs. The difference between two treatment outcomes was highly significant (Mantel Haenszel odds ratio=11; P=0.0009 at 95% CI). Thus, adjunct phytopharmaceuticals are safe, shorten dramatically treatment duration, and can overcome drug resistance even in patients with XDR-TB.

Conventional TB chemotherapy success rates are inconsistent in patients with XDR-TB also known as Extremely Drug-Resistant TB. XDR-TB is defined as TB that is resistant to any fluoroquinolone, and at least one of three injectable second-line drugs (capreomycin, kanamycin, and amikacin), in addition to the two most commonly used drugs in the current first-line regimen, isoniazid and rifampin. Current XDR-TB treatment is extremely lengthy and complicated, with some strains virtually untreatable. XDR-TB is seen throughout the world but is most frequently seen in the countries of the former Soviet Union, Africa and Asia.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) surveys indicated that in the worst-affected countries, 10 percent of MDR-TB cases were XDR-TB. The WHO estimates that there were almost half a million cases of MDR-TB worldwide. Research is being carried out urgently to better understand XDR-TB, and the WHO and others have mounted an intensified global response to this escalating incidence of resistance being evidenced worldwide.

The Ekomed Director, Mr. Volodymyr Pylypchuk commented: "We are very proud that our study attracted attention of world renowned TB experts and we were invited to present our data. As long as TB is treated with a long, complex, decades-old drugs' regimen, XDR-TB will continue to remain a life-threatening disease with unmet needs. Immunomodulators, such as our Immunoxel product, can overcome any bacterial drug resistance since our compounds act through totally new immune mechanism. Our phytomedicines are the first and only known products that can enhance the host's defense against mycobacterial infections. We can drastically shorten treatment duration and cure patients even with XDR-TB. Our study conducted in Ukraine shows that we can offer a practical, cost-effective solution to the global TB crisis."

About Ekomed
Ekomed is committed to the 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. The development of new therapeutic options for treating susceptible as well as MDR/XDR TB is the most effective way to decrease global morbidity related to HIV infection as well, since Immunoxel has been shown very effective in AIDS patients too. Ekomed is committed to ensuring affordable access to phyto-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 a global marketing partnership with Zodiac Capital Limited - a publicly traded investment group listed in Australia. This relationship may potentially assure worldwide global access to the range of Ekomed products and especially Immunoxel, for those who have limited or no treatment options.

Media contacts:
Volodymyr Pylypchuk
CEO and Scientific Director
Ekomed LLC
pylypchuk (at) bk.ru

Dr. Allen Bain
Zodiac Capital Limited
allen.bain (at) zodiaccap.com


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