China has developed a new drug, known as Stavudine,
for the treatment of Aids. The drug was developed by a group of researchers at
the Xi'an Jiatong University lead by Lu Yong, an associate professor.
The drug has been approved by the Nanjing University Analysis Center and is
under batch production for export.
China is the third country to produce Stavudine after the United States and
Spain. The cost of China-made Stavudine is only 18,000 yuan per kg, about two
thirds of the world market price. Orders for the drug have raced to Xi'an from a
dozen of countries and regions.
Stavudine is the second generation of Zidovudine or AZT, the first anti-aids
drug, which was first used six years ago. Stavudine has similar curative effects
to Zidovudine, but the toxicity and side effects of the former are only one
tenth of the latter, Lu said.
Clinical tests on 1,000 patients have proved that the use of Stavudine and a
proteinase inhibitor in combination can reduce the mortality of HIV-positive
sufferers by two thirds.
The acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or aids, is a deadly disease which
kills 2 million lives around the globe annually. The number of aids patients has
grown rapidly in China during the past few years.
Development of Stavudine, a drug treatment at an affordable price, is good news
for aids patients both at home and abroad, said Fan Shiming, a physician at the
Xi'an New Drug Research Institute.