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Jamaican Scientists Close To Creating Affordable Hepatitis C Drug From Cannabis

Jamaican scientist Dr Henry Lowe makes prostate cancer breakthrough developing a formula that can reduce & eliminate prostate cancer { Award recipient at Pre Award Ceremony Dec 17th, Barclays Center }

Research scientists say they have discovered properties in Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the major bioactive compounds in the cannabis plant, that have the potential to provide affordable treatment as nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals for hepatitis C.

Information on the new discovery can be found in the latest issue (January – March 2017) of Pharmacognosy Research, a publication of Pharmacognosy Network Worldwide, making it subject to peer review.

“We report here for the first time in vitro studies to demonstrate the antiviral activity of CBD against HCV,” Dr Henry Lowe, and his research team – Jamaican Wayne McLaughlin and Cameroonian Dr Ngeh Toyang – state in their published study, adding that Cannabidiol was shown to have activity against HCV in vitro but not against hepatitis B virus (HBV).

Last Friday, Lowe, who is known worldwide for his anti-cancer and ganja research, as well as the production of a range of nutraceuticals using Jamaican plants, told the Jamaica Observer that the discovery is a major development.

“This is a new discovery which has fantastic potential for the future, especially for people in developing countries, because there is a drug which was developed for hepatitis C treatment, but it’s over US$85,000 per treatment and very few people in the developing world can afford this,” he said. “So it is very important that we find less expensive means of treatment, and that is why this discovery and its potential to manage this disease is so important.

“Most of the incidences [of Hepatitis C] are in the developing world, so this means this could make a big difference if it’s taken to finality,” Lowe argued.

“This journal publication is not current, insofar as the research is concerned, because we have to protect intellectual property. We have gone far beyond this in terms of research and development to the point where we’re hoping that by next year, with the data we have, we should be able to go to clinical trials. So it’s a major, major new development,” he said.

He further stated that a nutraceutical product is currently being developed which should be ready for the market by year end. Talks, he added, have started with the South African Government on the cannabis research and development which, he believes, could open the way to the products to the developing world.

In their study, the scientists point out that viral hepatitis is caused by a group of viruses divided into five types – A, B, C, D, and E – and they are primarily known to attach to the liver.

“Hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus are the most dangerous and prevalent of the five virus types,” they state.

The latest World Health Organization (WHO) data state that 130 million to 150 million people globally have chronic hepatitis C infection. (Jamaica Observer)

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We are, naturally, encouraged by the achievements of Dr Henry Lowe who last week announced that he and his research partners have reached the final stages in the development of a formula that can reduce and eliminate prostate cancer.

Of equal importance, though, is Dr Lowe's establishment of the Bio-Tech Research and Development Institute which brings together the University of the West Indies, University of Technology, Northern Caribbean University and the Scientific Research Council — Jamaica's four leading research institutions — in order to develop pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals from indigenous Jamaican plants.

That Dr Lowe and his partners saw it fit to issue the four institutions with 2.5 per cent of the total shares of the Bio-tech R&D Institute, free of cost, is highly commendable and should enhance the role of science and technology in wealth creation.

 

 

Just as encouraging is Dr Lowe's signal that these pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals will be manufactured here in Jamaica, creating new jobs and opportunities for young scientists and skilled persons, as well as generating small business opportunities for university graduates, as well as small and large investors in the agriculture sector.

There's no doubting the potential benefits of this venture. Worldwide the nutraceutical industry is said to be a multi-billion dollar business with the United States alone accounting for US$167 billion and Europe accounting for US$100 billion.

We are also told that the nutraceutical and functional food industry has the potential to grow to US$50 billion in Canada. In fact, between 2002 and 2007 sales of functional foods have grown by over 15 per cent in Western Europe and the US combined.

Given that level of performance, Dr Lowe, we believe, has demonstrated business savvy by forging what he has described as a "brand Jamaica" partnership with the largest nutraceutical company in China, which will distribute his formula in that extremely large market.

"We expect that gaining even one per cent of the Chinese market will amount to tremendous US dollar value export earnings — perhaps the most rewarding endeavours and investments in our country in recent times," Dr Lowe was quoted in our report last Friday.

So, essentially, what Dr Lowe and his partners have presented here is an opportunity for economic growth through job and wealth creation. It is, as he rightly said, an avenue to bring together science and business.

A smart Government would want to ensure that a venture such as this is accommodated and supported in order that Jamaica can reap its maximum benefits.

Our hope is that that's the thinking inside Jamaica House.

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JAMAICAN scientist Dr Henry Lowe last night threw a lifeline to men worldwide when he announced that he had developed a formula that can reduce and eliminate prostate cancer, the number one cause of cancer deaths among males.

"I am pleased to announce that we have reached the final stages in the development of the Alpha Prostate Formula, which will be on the market in the next three months under the Eden Gardens brand," Dr Lowe told guests at the launch of Bio-Tech R&D Institute at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston.

Lowe, executive chairman of Environmental Health Foundation which is based at his Eden Gardens complex in Kingston, explained that the formula will be locally produced, first as a nutraceutical.

"The drug takes time and millions of US dollars to develop, so that is why we're making it available in its semi-purified form," Dr Lowe told the Observer in an interview outside of the launch.

Dr Joseph Bryant from the University of Maryland Medical School and a shareholder in Bio-Tech R&D Institute, agreed. "We have to go by the rules and the regulations as to how fast we can get it out there, but the nutraceutical thing now allows us to get it out much faster," he told the Observer.

"We cannot overemphasise the point of what this means for the country, and I hope that the younger generation will carry it on," Dr Bryant added.

Lowe's cancer research work attracted world attention when he announced that he had found properties in the Jamaican ball moss that had the potential to fight cancer.

Yesterday, he said that the formula is derived from the main ingredient in the ball moss and has been shown to have major prostate anti-cancer activity.

Jamaica has one of the highest prostate cancer rates in the world with approximately 150 men diagnosed each year. Medical experts believe that a large percentage of affected men are undiagnosed.

Yesterday, Lowe, who won the Observer Business Leader Award for 2006, noted that in addition to Jamaica, numerous cases of prostate cancer have been reported among black Americans and Africans.

"The market for that is tremendous and there are only two other products as nutraceuticals for this," he said. "This is going in there, brand Jamaica, and if we get the right thrust and the right support we have hundreds of millions of US dollars which can come to Jamaica."

Yesterday, in his prepared remarks, Lowe said that as a first step in the development of the nutraceutical industry, Bio-Tech R&D Institute has already secured capital of $25 million, which will contribute to the overall development of the institute in the next 24 months. Further capitalisation of $25 million is expected within the next 48 months.

"As a result, the only thing that could impede success is our will to succeed," said Dr Lowe.

"We will be working toward seizing a five per cent share of the global nutraceutical industry within the next two years, which translates to a multi-billion-dollar local industry -- approximately $726 billion," he said.

The Bio-Tech R&D Institute brings together Jamaica's four leading research institutions -- the University of the West Indies, University of Technology, Northern Caribbean University and the Scientific Research Council -- all of which will receive 2.5 per cent of the total shares of the institute free of cost.

In addition to his other shareholders -- Federated Pharmaceutical/Lascelles Limited and the Environmental Health Foundation — Dr Lowe said he has forged a partnership with the largest nutraceutical company in China, which will distribute the formula in that Asian country.

"We expect that gaining even one per cent of the Chinese market will amount to tremendous US dollar value export earnings — perhaps the most rewarding endeavours and investments in our country in recent times," said Dr Lowe.

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Comment by vaughn mitchell on February 19, 2017 at 5:33pm

wicked. nice,about  time

Comment by catherine rowe on March 31, 2013 at 1:16pm

Fingers crossed that this cure can come to fruition for all men..

Comment by Lenroy La Rocque on January 5, 2013 at 4:09am

Great

Comment by Ricardo O'Connor on December 14, 2012 at 12:32am
Comment by julianne benjamin on January 20, 2011 at 1:39am
Thk god 4 a miracle. Nd may it work bc I lost so many fam fr d sickness I don't even want 2 call d name .nd I hope it can help breast cancer 2 bc my 28 year old is suffering fr it may god bless d scientist


Julianne I sided with you. My wife lost her cousin from it. Her Aunt had it and beat it. Now her Uncle has it and my Uncle had it and beat it. The best method to fight cancer is frequent screening and check up (Primary prevention). And the thing with cancer is when you beat it, it has a tendency to re-appear. And when it does come back it's more aggressive. Just pray and ask the all mighty for an anointing healing.
Comment by trevor mullings on December 13, 2012 at 9:25pm

This is the best news i seen coming out of Jamaica in a long time,i hope the Doctors involved get all the supports they need,Jah Bless.

Comment by Ricardo O'Connor on December 13, 2012 at 6:46am
This is great news for the country and for those in need of treatment. I applaud Dr Lowe and his team brilliancy on this ground breaking discovery. I hope this work and live up to the expectation.
Comment by barbara glover on December 12, 2012 at 6:23pm

lets hope it works every body have dem own remendies people have to change dem diet and life style so many tings cause cancer d food d water d pots and pan we cook in the air we breath water fire every ting make us sick we have to change d way we eat

Comment by Tes B on December 12, 2012 at 4:00pm

AWESOME!!!

Comment by kk on December 12, 2012 at 2:31pm
Great!
Comment by Mervin E Yearwood on December 12, 2012 at 2:19pm

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