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China, Thailand Work out New Anti-AIDS Drug

Chinese and Thai scientists have worked out a new anti-AIDS drug that has proven effective in 89 percent of the patients in a recent clinical trial.

The compound "SH," a herbal formula, was developed by the Kunming Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in collaboration with Thai experts. The Thai Ministry of Public Health has approved the drug imported into Thailand on a long-term basis, said a source with the institute based in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province.

The clinical trial have been conducted by Thai hospitals on 120 HIV-positive patients, said Gan Fanyuan, a specialist with the botany institute.

The two countries are negotiating the details of China exporting herb to Thailand as the raw material to mass produce the new drug. China has also reached deals with the United States and Nigeria, two potential importers of the new formula, Gan said.

He noted the drug is a major breakthrough in Sino-Thai cooperation in traditional Chinese medicine.

"It'll play an important role in the global fight against HIV/AIDS and will popularize Chinese herbal medicine around the world," Gan said.

According to Gan, the practice of traditional Chinese medicine became legalized in Thailand in 1999 and the two countries have carried out extensive cooperation in the field ever since.

(Xinhua News Agency December 12, 2004)

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