A database that tracks dubious medical claims.
Claim number: 34
Claimant: Imuniti Holdings Ltd
Claim date: March 23, 2011
Brand name: Imuniti Nutritional Supplement Combo (INSC)
Forum in which the claim was made: Statement to JSE
Claim methodology: Supplements
Frequency with which the claim is made by this claimant: Once off
Actual claim: Treats AIDS
Plausibility of this claim: Implausible
Imuniti Holdings claims that its product treats HIV in a press statement aimed at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange
Business Day ran this article explaining a strange press release by a company called Imuniti.
The company claims to have run a clinical trial conducted by the co-discoverer of HIV, Luc Montagnier, in the Ivory Coast. Montagnier has in recent years expressed increasingly pseudo-scientific views about the treatment of HIV.
It is unclear what kind of clinical trial could have been conducted in a country embroiled in a civil war. It is also unethical to announce the results of a clinical trial as a press release before it has been peer-reviewed. Questions arise:
- Was ethical approval granted by a reputable ethics committee for this trial?
- What precisely was Luc Montagnier's role?
- What was the role of UNESCO, who are mentioned in the press release.
Here is the press release by Imuniti:
TRIAL RESULTS AND WITHDRAWAL OF CAUTIONARY ANNOUNCEMENT TRIAL RESULTS ON IMUNITI PACK
A clinical trial was conducted on HIV positive patients. The clinical trial was conducted by Prof Luc Montagnier on the INCSPin conjunction with ARV therapy, conducted at the Centre Integre de Recherches Biocliniques d`Abidjan (C.I.R.B.A.), Cote d`Ivoire (under the auspices of UNESCO). What was clearly observed on this first preliminary trial was the following: 1. Using the new biomarker developed by Professor Montagnier to measure the remaining viral DNA in the body after ARV treatment and also using the current standard of measurement namely PCR measurement, the following trend was observed: a. The control arm of ARV alone showed no change in any of the markers requested as per trial protocol. b. The ARV plus INSCP arm showed a substantial reduction in the viral DNA in 71% of the patients. Furthermore, PCR showed that 28% of the patients had viral DNA disappear after three months of INSCP treatment. This is the first time that this viral DNA has ever been impacted by a natural combination product. 2. The preliminary results justify further clinical trials with a larger number of patients. It is also envisaged to use INSCP in HIV positive naive patients not yet treated by ARVs. WITHDRAWAL OF CAUTIONARY ANNOUNCEMENT Shareholders are referred to the cautionary announcement issued on 14 March 2011, and are advised that they no longer need to exercise caution in dealing with the shares of Imuniti in relation to the prior cautionary announcement.