NEW YORK, NY--Sep 26, 2012 - Her Excellency, Mrs. Joyce Banda, the President of the Republic of Malawi, announced today that an agreement has been reached to open an outpatient's clinic at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases with US-based biotech firms TNI BioTech, Inc. (TNIB) (PINKSHEETS: TNIB) and GB Oncology & Imaging Group LLC (GBOIG).
The World Health Organization estimates that chronic infectious diseases cause more than 20 percent of all cancers in the world, including liver, cervical and gastric malignancies. Infection-related cancers are more frequent and often more severe in people infected with HIV. Cancer patients in Malawi have had abysmal survival rates due to lack of access to early diagnosis and treatment.
President Mrs. Joyce Banda, a long time advocate for women's rights in the areas of health, education and gender equality continues her fight to provide adequate access to effective treatment for cancer and infectious diseases in Malawi; today cancer is almost a death sentence due to a lack of care. President Banda has taken the first step in reversing this problem by signing an agreement with TNIB and GBOIG to open an outpatient clinic for the treatment of cancer, HIV/AIDS and infectious diseases at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital within the coming months. At the clinic TNIB and GBOIG will deliver both conventional and alternative therapies; including safer, more effective cancer therapies, new-targeted drug therapies and minimally invasive surgical alternatives.
Some of the leaders in the field of immunology and oncology have joined TNIB and GBOIG in their endeavor such as Dr. Ronald Herberman, TNIB's Chief Medical Officer and the founding director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) as well as the UPMC Cancer Center. Advisory Board Member, Dr. Dalgleish was appointed Foundation Chair of Oncology at St. George's University of London in 1991. Dr. Ndiouga Dieng, a graduate from Howard University, holds the position of Senior Pharmacy Manager at John Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore).
The main objectives of the collaboration between TNIB/GBOIG and Dr. Leo Masamba, one of the only oncologists in Malawi, are to improve access and delivery of clinical care to patients with cancer and infection-related cancers, better understand the link between infectious diseases and cancer, and train the next generation of Malawi-US physicians and scientists to combat infection-associated cancers at home and abroad.
Ultimately, the mandate of the new facility for outpatient cancer care, education and research will allow TNIB/GBOIG to:
-Provide first-rate cancer care in Malawi -- a country of about 16 million citizens suffering from one of the highest cancer rates in the world -- in order to improve survival rates for most common cancers under the available therapies from 10 percent to 90 percent, saving an estimated 5,000 lives each year.
-Study the interaction between infections and cancer by promoting cutting-edge research aimed at pathophysiology, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infection-related cancers in Africa.
-Improve the quality of medical education in oncology and increase the number of cancer specialists in Malawi.
As part of the agreement, the Government of Malawi has agreed to make space available in the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital where TNIB/GBOIG will retrofit the facility and start the operation of an outpatient oncology and infectious disease clinic within 6 months; this Phase I will begin in November of 2012 with the aim to have the clinic operational by March of 2013. This clinic will include a CT Scan, an X-Ray Room, a 10 chair infusion chemo-therapy and immune rehabilitating therapy clinic, a sterile room, all related medical supplies, an electronic medical record system and other medical services. In an effort to provide treatment immediately we will initiate the treatment of 10,000 women and children a day for cancer, HIV/AIDS and infectious diseases using IRT-103 LDN, and expand to 250,000-500,000 patients over time. Phase II is focused at adding the necessary Radiation Oncology treatments. The radiation department will be managed by an experienced radiation oncology team and will provide the most advanced technology we can offer aimed at providing the highest chance for healing and recovery; the objective has been set to have Phase II within 12 months.
Dr. Gloria Herndon, President & Managing Member of GBOIG stated "Though cultural change is achieved very slowly, we strongly believe that IRT-103 (LDN) can serve to literally save millions of lives within a relatively short time." "We believe this is an important step forward as there is an urgent need in Malawi for readily available, safe and effective treatments that can hopefully increase the life span and improve the quality of life for millions of cancer and HIV/AIDS infected patients."
"Having a healthy population is essential for the fabric and stability of the nation." "It is imperative to provide care to the people of Malawi in need of care", said President Banda. "It's also the right thing to do." "There can be no greater mandate in cancer treatment and research than to wage the fight by doing the right thing."
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
DR. GLORIA HERNDON
DR. NDIOUGA DIENG
SOURCE: TNI BioTech, Inc.