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Kenya to commence HIV vaccine human trial in July ▷ Kenya News

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A vaccine with the potential to stop HIV infecting cells is set to be launched in Kenya with the clinical human trials starting in July 2019.

According to an announcement made by a group of scientists on Friday, June 14, the recruitment for the promising trial would begin in the next three weeks.

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HIV test kit. The new vaccine will apply a ‘block approach’ in stopping HIV from attaching itself onto cells.
Source: UGC

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The new vaccine will apply a ‘block approach’ in stopping HIV from attaching itself onto cells, specifically the CD4 cells, often called T-cells which forms part of the immune system.

The clinical trial has been codenamed IAVI W001 trial.664gp140. W001 and will test a vaccine candidate dubbed BG505 SOSIP — a molecule cloned to look exactly as the HIV one.

The director of Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative (KAVI), Omu Anzala, said the trials will be tested on HIV-negative Kenyan volunteers to check for safety and efficacy, Daily Nation reported.

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“This is phase one of the first human trial for this vaccine and over the next one-and-a-half years, the trial will seek to answer questions on how safe the vaccine is and how well it can induce the human body to produce antibodies that can neutralise HIV,” said Anzala.

“The candidates (HIV-negative), will get three shots every month for the first three months … and then we will start to keenly follow them up … to see did it work or not,” he explained.

This was after the trial vaccine showed promising results by causing production of antibodies that neutralised a HIV-like virus during animal testing.

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Senior research scientist at the International Aids Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) who developed the molecule BG505 SOSIP. 664gp140, said it belongs to a new generation of immunogens molecules.

Elise Landais said that the molecules are capable of causing an immune response in the body called nativelike trimers.

They induce broadly neutralising antibodies with capacity to attack the HIV virus in the body upon detection.

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“So BG505 SOSIP. 664gp140 is the molecule that will be put in the test candidates by vaccination,” said Dr Landais.

“This is the first time we’re trying anything like this. Before the molecule, we were working with HIV products that we discovered recently weren’t very good at achieving the desired results,” she added.

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But the scientist claimed they now know the right shape of the molecule that sits on the HIV virus and hence this trial.

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Before, the scientist were looking at a certain shape of immune cells that were killing the infected ones.

This time round they are focusing on activating cells that are going to produce antibodies that will actually block the virus even before it infects the cells.

“So instead of coming after the infection has already happened, we are trying to block its pre-infection. All the products we had before couldn’t activate this kind of response because it did not have the right shape,” she said.

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Anzala also said this is a new product and that previously, they used products that elicit T-cells, but this particular product is eliciting humoural immunity or B-cells that will give broad and potent neutralising antibodies.

The researchers spoke during a scientific talk at the University of Nairobi College of Health Sciences’ KAVI-Institute of Clinical Research.

Relevant infrastructure and technology transfer for the trial had been concluded at the site.

Do you have a hot story or scandal you would like us to publish, please reach us through [email protected] or WhatsApp: 0732482690 and Telegram: Tuko news.

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Source: Tuko.co.ke

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COVID-19 patient to sue Isiolo County for exposing him – KBC

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A 62-year-old man in Isiolo County who recovered from COVID-19 is seeking justice after health workers at Garbatula Hospital allegedly shared his photos and biodata on social media platforms.

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Osman Shariff who is a trader in the area is now decrying of immense stigma and massive losses in his businesses following the alleged move by the health workers at the hospital where he had been placed under isolation.

The businessman is seeking to sue the County Government even after Isiolo Governor Mohamed Kuti pleaded with him to put the matter to rest.

After recovering from COVID-19, Osman Shariff has now resolved to seek legal redress, to compel the county government to compensate him from what he terms as malicious damage to his business.

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The 62-year-old trader says he is undergoing immense psychological torture after his photos and biodata went viral on social media, the details he says were shared by health workers at Garbatula Hospital.

The stigma he says has been extended to his family posing an unfriendly environment as the trauma takes a toll on them.

His quest to seek justice coming days after Isiolo Governor Mohamed Kuti acknowledged the incident and further pleaded with the victim to put the matter to rest.

Individuals who recover from the dreaded coronavirus have continuously faced stigmatization from the community.

Some even from close relatives, this notwithstanding the Ministry of Health’s plea to the public not to discriminate any individual on such grounds.

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Nairobi County loses 400 parking bays at Telposta Towers

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Economy

Nairobi County loses 400 parking bays at Telposta Towers

Telposta Towers on Kenyatta avenue
Telposta Towers on Kenyatta avenue. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Nairobi County government has lost control of more than 400 parking bays at Telposta Towers after a court found that it is private property belonging to Teleposta Pension Scheme Trustees.

Justice Samson Okong’o of the Environment and Lands Court found that the defunct City County Council had surrendered the property to the pension scheme in 2005 at a cost of Sh15 million.

Having handed over and received payment, the judge said the City government had relinquished its interest in the disputed property.

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After acquiring the property, the Scheme developed it resulting to creation of 408 parking bays at the basement and a recreational area. Other 45 parking bays that had been erected by the city council remained intact.

The Scheme moved to court in 2010 after City Hall attempted to evict the security personnel manning the parking bays.

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Nairobi also wanted to levy parking fees on the the Scheme’s customers and tenants, a move that Justice Okong’o said amounted to trespassing.

The County government had denied that it sold the property to the scheme adding that the title that was issued after the plot was amalgamated with another was illegal, null and void.

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Sh28bn Railway City takes shape as authority formed

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Counties

Sh28bn Railway City takes shape as authority formed

Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director-General Mohammed Badi
Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director-General Mohammed Badi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The much-awaited Sh28 billion Nairobi Railway City has started taking shape after the formation of the Railway City Development Authority (RCDA), a special purpose vehicle.

The first phase of the 20-year project that is set to change the face of Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) will kick-off this year.

Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director-General Mohammed Badi said that the Authority was established in May and formation of an implementation committee was underway.

This follows a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta in March for NMS to work closely with relevant institutions to establish the Authority and identify anchor projects and investors for the project.

“A gazette notice establishing the Railway City Development Authority was published on 13th May 2020 as Legal Notice No. 88 of 2020,” said Major General Badi.

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“The implementation will spearhead the operationalisation of the Authority, develop framework for actualising the railway city, identify anchor projects and investors,” he added.

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The iconic multi-modal urban development project, which is part of the Nairobi Integrated Urban Development Plan, will be implemented on a 425-acre piece of land stretching from Haile Selassie Avenue, Uhuru Highway, Bunyala Road, Commercial Street and Landhies Road.

The plan includes building of a new railway station that allows for the integration of BRT and other public transport modes as well as other commercial developments including skyscrapers, residential flats, a cultural centre and a museum.

On March 13, a moratorium on any development in the area was issued for one year to facilitate planning.

The project is divided into three components with the first component entailing the construction of facilities for meetings, incentive conferences and exhibitions which will be located along Bunyala Road.

The next will be an economic zone comprising hi-tech industries and small and medium enterprises. It is projected to create over 200,000 new jobs.

The final component, the East core, will comprise a residential complex – including a school, park and affordable housing units – to accommodate approximately 28,000 residents and it will be built in Landi Mawe and Industrial Area.

The Nairobi Railway station area will be developed into an iconic nerve centre for the city’s multi-modal transport system with a world class new central station incorporating mixed use commercial developments, housing and inter-modal facilities.

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