The HIV-AIDS laboratory at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR),
Bangalore, in conjunction with Samraksha, an NGO, and several hospitals specialising in HIV management, have tested a polyherbal formulation that shows promise against HIV/AIDS in a pilot clinical trial.
The project, which was funded by the Centre’s Department of Science and Technology (DST), has found mention in a research article in the June issue of Indian Journal of Medical Research.
In a statement, Professor Ranga Uday Kumar of the Molecular Biology unit, who was in charge of the research, said the results suggested that the formulation ‘may have provided protection by slowing down the loss of CD4 cells in the blood’.
Such immuno-modulators which can control HIV-AIDS gain paramount importance since there are no therapeutic vaccines and anti-retroviral therapies have various limitations.
However, Professor Kumar also cautioned that the formulation could not be construed as a ‘drug’ for HIV/AIDS since the experimental data was only indicative, being a pilot clinical trial. The study, however, generated high quality data and provided potential leads, he added while saying that the only way to confirm the results was to conduct a larger and rigorous clinical trial which might prove to be an expensive proposition.
The issue addressed in the research was if an immuno-modulator could help the immune system against HIV by controlling chronic immune activation.
The formulation used consists of ingredients from 58 different plants and lacks heavy metals. It was prepared by Vedic Drugs Pvt Ltd, the statement said.