By MATTHIAS NWOGU, Umuahia –
Hope for the production and acceptance of the Nigerian antiretroviral drug for the cure of HIV/ AIDS developed by Prof. Maduike Ezeibe, a renowned researcher at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike in Abia State, has received a boost with the granting of application for patent right to produce the drug for consumption by President Muhammadu Buhari.
This is in addition to financial assistance given to the researcher by Abia State government and the management of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike to carry out more trials on the efficacy of the drug both within and outside the country.
Professor Ezeibe’s claims recently to have found a cure for the dreaded scourge, using Aluminium Magnasium Silicate (AMS) and simple sugar to attack the virus in any part of the body, including the “sanctuary cells” had raised some criticisms and skepticisms from many circles despite his claims of cure for over 10 patients and research findings published in international journals.
Speaking on AMS at a lecture, organised by the Students’ Union Government (SUG) of the MOUA to mark the World AIDS Day Celebration on Friday, he advised persons living with the scourge not to despair.
He said that a permanent cure was imminent, pointing out that researchers all over the world were making concerted efforts to develop a cure for one of the greatest threats to human existence globally.
He said all over the world, researchers are making efforts to invent a drug that will permanently cure HIV/AIDS and expressed optimism that a global success was imminent as according to him, “ with the Nigerian anti-retroviral drug from my research finding, the world now know that to permanently cure the scourge, you need nanotechnology.”
“You cannot cure the disease with ordinary anti-retroviral drugs because their molecules are big and cannot reach the sanctuary cells,” he said.
The Prof of Veterinary Medicine said that the only medicine that could cure the virus should have small molecules, which could penetrate every part of the body, where ordinary drugs cannot reach.
According to Ezeibe, “Silicates have molecules that are 0.96 nanometer in size, while HIV has molecules as big as 110 nanometer, hence silicates can reach even the sanctuary cells.”
He further said that “the particles of AMS are positively and negatively charged, while HIV-infested cells are positively charged.”
He said that “one can use simple sugar (glucose) to transport charged molecules across the mucus membrane to the blood, up to the sanctuary cells.”
Ezeibe who said he had carried out a successful animal trial with the AMS and was currently doing clinical trial added that the drug did not have adverse side effects because “it works by physical effects on the virus.”
He said that with the financial assistance from the Abia State government and the university authorities, he had handled several cases, from within and outside Nigeria, free of charge.
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari recently approved his application for the patency to produce the drug for consumption.
He said that he was looking for funds for the mass production and commercialization of the drug.
Ezeibe said that the drug had successfully passed through peer review by 21 researchers and laboratory tests but because he lacked the legal backing to directly administer the drugs, he was working in collaboration with the University’s Medical Centre.
He said, “It is within the domain of a veterinarian to develop drugs which would be tried on animals before they are used on human beings by physicians.”
In his opening remarks, the President of the SUG, Mr Precious Ononiwu, said that the lecture was organised to “educate and enlighten the students on the new drug.”
Ononiwu commended Ezeibe for the invention, saying that it had further boosted the image of the university above other universities in Nigeria and beyond.
“Any time I attend meetings of SUG presidents in the South East, I now brag that the professor that invented the cure for HIV/AIDS comes from my university,” he said.