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China Develops AIDS Drug with Independent IPR

China has developed its first AIDS drug with independent intellectual property right, the producers announced Wednesday.

The new drug,Dicaffeoyqunic Acid Tablets, marks a major breakthrough in China's AIDS drug development and has outperformed cocktail therapy in experiments on monkeys, said He Fuchu, vice president of Academy of Military Medical Science, developer of the medicine, at a news briefing in Nanchang, east China's Jiangxi Province.

The drug has been approved by the State Food and Drug Administration to go into clinical tests on human being after passing tests on animals, said He, who is also an academician of Chinese Academy of Science.

"The safety of the new drug is reliable," he said.

The medicine features remarkable performance in curbing the duplication of the HIV virus and its effectiveness lasts longer than the commonly-used cocktail therapy, said He.

The latter, which has been widely used in the world for the treatment of HIV/AIDS, is functional in suppressing the virus and keeping it from damaging the immune system. However, it is not a cure. If the drugs are stopped, the virus bounces back immediately, said He.

"Tests on monkeys show that the virus has not come back during a certain period even after stopping to use the new drug," said He.

The Jiangzhong Pharmaceutical Group, the co-producer of the drug, has applied for patent protection for the drug and the production technique in more than 20 countries, said Zhong Hongguang, board chairman of the group, a major domestic medicine producer.

Academy of Military Medical Science began to develop the drug in 1994 and the Jiangzhong Group, which has already established three state-level research and development centers, joined the program in 1996, said Zhong Hongguang.

(Xinhua News Agency December 1, 2005)

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