A new drug called “Aramax Victory” has recently appeared on the Armenian market, which is advertised as an effective solution against the delta strain of COVID 19. Although the advertisement gives the impression that “Aramax” cures COVID, but the drug has not passed clinical trials and is a food supplement, not a medicine. Although it is registered in Armenia and the EEU countries, the Ministry of Health does not use Aramax for the treatment of infected people.
Without covering the safety and effectiveness of Aramax, media.am reports about some problems related to this biological additive.
Aramax is a product of “Arsi Alliance” company, the deputy director of which, Arthur Sargsyan, stated at a press conference on October 28 that the drug was tested against the delta strain, flu and acute respiratory diseases and registered wonderful results. Arthur Sargsyan called their discovery unprecedented and informed that it has already been registered in the EEU countries as a bioactive supplement.
The drug has not been clinically tested
According to Arthur Sargsyan and Aramax’s Facebook ads, it is emphasized that it underwent preclinical tests at the Institute of Molecular Biology of the National Academy of Sciences, headed by Zaven Karalyan, Head of the Virology Laboratory, Doctor of Medical Sciences. However, it is important that we are talking about a preclinical experiment, which was done exclusively on animals. The media covering the press conference forgot to mention this important fact (link 1, link 2). Doctor of Medical Sciences Zaven Karalyan told media.am that they tested the drug on Syrian hamsters.
“We have had susceptible animals infected with the coronavirus. We gave some of them Aramax, but we did not administer it to the others. In hamsters who did not receive the drug, the disease had a classic course: in 7-8 days pneumonia developed and passed. Meanwhile, under the influence of Aramax, the development of pneumonia stopped on the 3rd, 4th day and there was no weight loss. The main immune pathogenic effect had also decreased,” said Zaven Karalyan.
According to the scientist, he did not advertise Aramax for people, “I cannot say anything outside of my experiments.”
Arsen Arakelyan, director of the Institute of Molecular Biology, reaffirmed that preclinical tests had been performed at his institute, adding that the biological supplement did not suppress the virus but showed very good results in restoring lung function. “The research was performed on animals, after which we offered the manufacturer to organize clinical trials.”
We tried to understand whether preclinical trials on hamsters were followed by clinical trials on humans. The representative of “Aramax Victory” answered that no clinical trials were conducted, as “the product is an active additive, and the composition is completely herbal. There is no requirement for a clinical trial to be registered as a food supplement in Armenia. ” He also said that they are carrying out the clinical examination on a voluntary basis, they will summarize the results in a year or two. To the question of how the product is advertised as an effective solution against the delta strain of COVID-19 without a clinical trial, “Aramax Victory” answered:
“The first basis is our preclinical trials on hamsters, the second is the personal experience of people, the drug is actually already circulating in the market.”
The Ministry of Health does not use Aramax for the treatment of COVID
Aramax is really registered in Armenia and EEU countries as a bioactive supplement. This means that it has passed laboratory tests.
However, this does not prove that this dietary supplement is effective in the fight against COVID. The Ministry of Health told media.am that they do not use Aramax to treat Covid infections. Spokeswoman Hripsime Khachatryan said in particular, “In all the protocols, which are guided by COVID clinics, in which it is mentioned how to treat and with what, there is no Aramax. Maybe some doctors use it, I cannot speak to that, it is out of our control.”
Thus, the biological supplement “Aramax Victory” is advertised as an effective solution against coronavirus but has not yet passed the clinical trial. The Ministry of Health does not use the drug for the treatment of people infected with the coronavirus.