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Trials for New HIV Drug
Chinese researchers announced recently that they are starting testing on human subjects a new drug against HIV and hepatitis B (HBV). Extracted from a Chinese herb, Inula britannic, the 1.5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid (1,5-DCQA) has proved its efficiency in a different way than most medicines. A research team at the Academy of Military Medical Sciences will begin a trial which will be conducted on 200 healthy volunteers. After starting researches 13 years ago and after testing more than 100 herbs, the scientist began to experiment on ducks and monkeys two years later. In the experiments conducted on monkeys, doctors treated them with the regular treatment for these diseases and with the extract they discovered. The latter showed increasingly better results. Considering the success of the trials, the drug will be available in 2 years time. The price will not be a bad news because the scientists are able to synthesize it chemically, instead of extract it directly, making the drug cheaper than others. Researchers also stated that the drugs showed few side effects taken in large quantities. Dong Junxing, professor at the Academy of Military Medical Science, stated: "Preliminary experiments on animals show that suspending, or stopping, the use of the compound during treatment does not lead to deterioration of the disease, which will be a big advance from current anti-HBV and HIV/AIDS medicines, such as the popular cocktail therapy. We will try a combined prescription of the new drug and current medicines to see whether it can have better efficacy."

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