Immunitor attends All-African Immunology Congress in Zimbabwe

immunitor immunitor at
Mon May 19 03:38:28 EST 2003

Immunitor attends All-African Immunology Congress in Zimbabwe

Immunitor Corporation based in Thailand presented its latest data from
its ongoing oral AIDS vaccine (V-1 Immunitor) trials at the 5th
Congress of the Federation of African Immunological Societies (FAIS)
held on April 27- May 2, 2003 at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

The oral presentation by the Scientific Director, Dr. Aldar S.
Bourinbaiar, has received warm welcome and tremendous interest from
African immunologists and their colleagues on other continents. The
presentation summarized the scientific rationale for V1 and clinical
findings from 65,000 patients in over 60 countries. The presented work
was a result of joint effort of Immunitor scientists with the clinical
team led by Dr. Orapun Metadilogkul of Bangkok’s Rajavithi
Public Hospital, of the Thai Ministry of Public Health.

During the conference Immunitor had initiated and also followed up on
already established collaboration with researchers and doctors in
Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Gambia, Lesotho, Kenya, Mauritania,
Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Plans to build local vaccine production facilities utilizing
Immunitor’s platform technology was also discussed as part of
the future cooperation and development. It is anticipated that sharing
of technology between developing countries in Asia and Africa will be
synergistic and mutually beneficial for all involved parties.

V-1 Immunitor is a cocktail of fragments of HIV proteins derived from
a large pool of primary isolates from blood of HIV carriers. These
protein fragments or antigens are harmless since they are inactivated
by heat and chemical means and are then formulated into a tablet. Safe
and affordable antiviral treatment is still beyond reach of 99.9% of
AIDS patients in Africa. A private Thai biopharmaceutical company,
Immunitor Corp., has developed an oral therapeutic AIDS vaccine called
V1. In less than 2 years since the launch of V1 in Thailand, 65,000
AIDS patients have benefited from it. The published evidence in
peer-reviewed medical literature and clinical experience in 60
countries worldwide has shown that V1 is safe and effective in
alleviating symptoms of HIV/AIDS.

When taken orally, V1 produces an immune response on mucosal surfaces
as evidenced by rising T cell counts. Since HIV also enters the body
through the mucosal surface of genital organs, a proper immunological
response at the site of virus entry is the best chance to prevent
infection in a rational manner. The vaccine as designed offers unique
advantages: (1) it is safe; (2) has a broad-spectrum activity against
many HIV subtypes; (3) very large quantities can be manufactured at
low cost; (4) it is stable for 3 years at tropical temperature, thus
eliminating the need for refrigerated storage and transportation; (5)
it is easy to administer (no syringes and no risk of being infected
with contaminated needles); (6) it does not require specially trained
personnel for mass-vaccination campaigns; (7) the cost of setting a
vaccine plant is low and feasible even in the least developed country.

Except V1 no other AIDS vaccine is commercially available in any part
of the world. In addition Immunitor’s vaccine is the first of
its kind to originate from a developing country. Immunitor has pending
licenses in several African countries which are expected to be
approved shortly.

Mr. Vichai Jirathitikal, President of Immunitor said: ‘Our
company is a tiny, private company which has independently developed
and currently manufactures four types of oral vaccines with little or
no support from my government. We are very glad to see the keen
interest from so many countries in Africa, whose economies and lives
are affected by an AIDS epidemic worse than in Thailand. Our main
focus is to establish long-lasting and mutually beneficial cooperation
with governments, academic institutions, private sector, and AIDS NGOs
in Africa. We seek to produce vaccines jointly so that our partners
can be self-reliant and have their own affordable and safe means to
fight diseases and economic crises common in our part of the world. We
have developed a considerable experience working with our African
colleagues and are looking forward to share the success. V1 can be now
found in 23 countries in Africa but we are always welcome inquiries
and collaboration proposals from other countries. V1 is not a cure but
is the best you can find today.’

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