Immunitor presents at the Therapies for Viral Hepatitis Symposium in Boston

immunitor immunitor at aol.com
Fri Nov 15 06:48:51 EST 2002


Immunitor presents at the Therapies for Viral Hepatitis Symposium in
Boston

Scientists from Immunitor Company presented poster 'Normalization of
Elevated Liver Enzymes due to V-1 Immunitor Therapy' at the
international symposium Therapies for Viral Hepatitis held in Boston
on October 29-31, 2002. The abstract of the presentation is published
in UK-based medical journal Antiviral Therapy (2002; Vol 7,
L115-L116).  This work was a result of the collaboration with Dr.
Orapun Metadilogkul of Rajavithi Public Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand.

V-1 Immunitor (V1) is an oral therapeutic AIDS vaccine developed by
Pharmacologist Mr. Vichai Jirathitikal and is licensed in Thailand as
a food supplement and as experimental R&D drug. V1 has been used by
60,000 AIDS patients in Thailand and 3,500 patients in 50 countries
worldwide.

Hepatitis is a serious and potentially life-threatening disease which
may culminate in liver cancer. Hepatitis B causes 60% to 80% of the
world's primary liver cancer with over one million people dying
annually. Although preventive vaccines against some forms of hepatitis
are available, they are only able to protect individuals who have not
yet been infected. About 500 million individuals worldwide are
infected with two major types of hepatitis B and C viruses. For those
who are already infected no effective and at the same time non-toxic
and inexpensive therapy is currently available.

Diagnosis of virally induced chronic hepatitis is often made when a
patient presents with elevated liver enzyme levels known as alanine
(ALT or SGPT) and aspartate (AST or SGOT) aminotransferases. Many
clinicians treat patients solely on the basis of clinical and
biochemical abnormalities, i.e., elevated liver enzymes. Other
clinical markers aiding the hepatitis diagnosis are abnormal levels of
alkaline phosphatase and bilirubin.

Upon analysis of results of phase I study of daily dose of V1 it has
been discovered that HIV-positive patients who initially had
higher-than-normal ALT and AST levels had experienced the reduction of
enzyme levels back to normal. Similar reduction to normalcy was
observed with two other markers of hepatitis, alkaline phosphatase and
bilirubin. Separately, three patients who were Hepatitis B antigen
positive became negative after V1 therapy. In contrast, patients who
had normal baseline liver enzyme levels have not experienced any
significant changes.

According to liver enzyme profiles the response rate to V-1 Immunitor
therapy was about 95%. This compares favorably with reported
biochemical response of hepatitis to interferon (10-20%) or interferon
and ribavirin combination (30-40%). New hepatitis drugs like
GlaxoSmithKline's Lamivudine and Gilead's Adefovir have fewer
side-effects than interferon but they are still not ideal. The virus
generally returns once treatment is stopped and keeping a patient on a
life-long treatment is not an option since drug resistance and
toxicity are major concerns. Importantly, a 48-week combination of
interferon and ribavirin treatment costs nearly $20,000 per person. 
In contrast, V1 is much cheaper. One pill of V1 costs less than US$ 1.

Thus, it is possible that V-1 Immunitor might be useful for treating
hepatitis, especially when one considers the fact that immunogenic
constituents of V1 are derived from HIV-infected donors many of whom
are co-infected with hepatitis B and C viruses. In this sense V1 is
similar to the first generation of commercial Hepatitis B vaccine,
which contained pooled viral antigens derived from the blood of
hepatitis B carriers.

Immunitor is now seeking to pursue this intriguing observation in
controlled studies by recruiting patients with confirmed hepatitis
diagnosis. For further inquiries please contact the Company at
immunitor at aol.com.
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