Canova ÔÇô the immune boosting product from Brazil which is currently packaged and sold in Botswana will undergo its first human trial in Kenya.
CanovaImmunomodulator which is currently being given to Botswana HIV\AIDS patients acroos the counter will be imported from Gabane to Kenya where Scientists from Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), the University of Nairobi and Kenyatta University are conducting the trials.
The herb which is sold without prescription is believed to be used by more than 10 000 Batswana
The Brazil-based product was developed by Francisco Canova 50 years ago. Its immune-boosting capabilities were discovered by Brazilian researchers nine years ago, reported the health portal News medical quoting Kenya’s the Nation newspaper.
The herbal product contains three herbs – Aconitum napellus, Bryonia alba and Thuya alba occentalis – the metal Asenicum album and the venom of the poisonous snake Lachesis muta.
The Kenyatta National Hospital Ethics and Research Board recently approved the first human clinical trial of the herb in Kenya.
Researchers plan to enrol 60 people in the trial, during which they will administer the drug for six months at KEMRI facilities and follow up with participants for one year, researcher Gabriel Mbugua said.
Some researchers say that the product – which is registered in Kenya as an herbal medicine – has not shown side effects among more than 10,000 people who have taken it in Botswana and Brazil, and patients have not developed resistance to it.
Mbugua said the product has been shown to reduce HIV viral loads. The Brazilian researchers “have done a lot of research on the product and are in agreement that it is useful in the management of HIV/AIDS and cancer”, he said. “But we feel the need to subject the product to local independent trials before we can freely use it on Kenyans.”