University of Nebraska Medical Center, Prof Benson Edagwa. FILE

Top Kenyan Scientist born in Vihiga unveils another ARV drug that will be given through yearly injections. The top scientist who resides in the United States says it is a game-changer to the fight against HIV. The drug doubles to be a vaccine.


The US-based Kenyan scientist has revealed the world's first antiretroviral (ARV) drug from administering daily to a yearly injection.


Prof Benson Edagwa and his colleagues at the University of Nebraska Medical Center transformed an existing ARV drug from GlaxoSmithKline to cabotegravir to enable the body to absorb and release it slowly from tissues over 12 months.


“This occurs for extended periods, and in laboratory and animal testing, up to a year,” said Prof Edagwa.


The new pill, according to the scientists, could also act as a vaccine for healthy people who take it and have unprotected s£x. It's however, not a cure for HIV/Aids.


Prof Edagwa, a former Moi University chemistry student, co-developed the latest formulation with Prof Howard Gendelman, a virologist and chairman of the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience at UNMC.


Professor Edagwa, who comes from Vihiga, works as an assistant professor in the department.


The two scientists have tested the new drug on mice and non-human hominids and found it safe and effective.


"To date, no adverse side effects have been demonstrated in any of the animal testing models," the University of Nebraska Medical School said in a statement.


The Cabotegravir drug or CAB was originally developed by ViiV Healthcare, a pharmaceutical subsidiary of GlaxoSmithKline that specialises in the development of therapies for HIV infection.

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  1. That is a positive news for HIV affected patients all over the world. When the world is reeling under the uncertainty due to COVID spread, the news of a yearly ARV injection for HIV is a piece of welcome news indeed.

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