Honibe part of new TB treatment trial

A P.E.I. company is involved in a new medical trial for treating tuberculosis.

Honey lozenges used to deliver medicine

Honibe drops and lozenges are pure dried honey. Researchers hope they can be an effective product for delivering Immunoxel for tuberculosis treatment.

A P.E.I. company is involved in a new medical trial for treating tuberculosis.

The trial involves further testing for Immunoxel, a liquid, plant-based, cold and flu supplement made in Ukraine. Doctors at a TB hospital discovered, by accident, the supplement seems to hasten recovery from TB symptoms.

Small clinical trials have supported the early findings. A $100,000 grant from Grand Challenges Canada, a federally-funded Toronto-based organization aiming to advance global health solutions, will now help pay for larger trials.

"TB is a very big problem," said Grand Challenges Canada program officer Ken Simiyu.

"Along with malaria and HIV, TB is the number three killer in the world, so this would be a significant breakthrough."

John Rowe is excited his company is involved in the tuberculosis treatment trial. (CBC)

The Immunoxel being tested is combined with Honibe honey lozenges -- for easier shipping and longer shelf-life.

Honibe lozenges are made from dried honey. Current products from the company include lozenges with menthol, eucalyptus and lemon added for sore throats and stuffy sinuses. Company president John Rowe is excited for his company to be involved in more serious medical trials.

"It's exciting because this is quite literally one of the biggest advancements in TB treatment in the last 50 years," said Rowe.

"That alone is just absolutely incredible to be a part of."

Grand Challenges will be tracking trials of Immunoxel to see if Rowe is right.  If the treatment is successful, that will open up a second round of funding of up to a million dollars.


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