Experts upbeat about cure

Compound found in a native tree has the potential to fight Covid-like ailments, says chemistry professor
Anisoptera thurifera from which hopeaphenol is extracted. –

PNG scientists are adamant that the country’s untapped biodiversity as well as currently available scientific knowledge have the potential and could be utilised to finding a ‘home grown’ Covid treatment.
“From it’s natural biodiversity PNG can create a green revolution and tell the world that Covid has been eradicate,” said natural product chemist, Professor Topul Rali of the School of Natural and Physical Sciences at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG).
He said hopeaphenol a chemical compound from a PNG plant he collected and submitted for testing with Griffith University in Brisbane in 1996 in collaboration with other researchers in the USA has revealed hopeaphenol as a top candidate for Covid-19 and even HIV treatment.
Prof Rali said: “Two oral pills for Covid-19 are now out. The German pharmaceutical giant Merck has announced Molnupiravir and Pfizer, the largest pharmaceutical company in the world has announced PF 07321332 just recently.
“Both of these drugs require further scrutiny by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
“Hopefully, PNG’s hopeaphenol which also binds very strongly to Covid viruses including the HIV virus can be developed as a natural entrant.
“Hopeaphenol can be easily isolated from the Anisoptera tree, unlike Merck and Pfizer’s synthetic drugs made by chemical synthesis.
“Eventually the fear of vaccinations will become past history as oral pills will gain dominance.
“Imagine locals chewing an aromatic gum containing hopeaphenol to rid of Covid symptoms after the infection.
“PNG can create a green revolution and tell the world that Covid has been eradicated in the next trip to the UK or perhaps to Siberia where the last strain of live polio virus awaits extinction orders from the UN (United Nations) members”.
Prof Rali first announced his findings in a news article released on June 13, 2021 but with little excitement from the Government.
“This news article of a PNG plant I collected and submitted for testing with Griffith University in Brisbane in collaboration with other researchers in the USA has revealed a compound called hopeaphenol which appears as a top candidate for Covid-19 and even HIV.
“I am keeping my fingers crossed for a pharmaceutical company like Astra Zeneca to develop a drug out of it apart from its (current) vaccine production,” Prof. Rali said.
bioRxiv (pronounced “bio-archive), an open access preprint repository for biological sciences stated in its April, 2021 publication: “Notably, hopeaphenol also inhibited two emerging variants of concern originating from the United Kingdom (B.1.1.7) and South Africa (B.1.351) in both cytopathic effect and spike-containing pseudovirus assays with similar (B.1.1.7) or improved (B.1.351) efficacies over the USA- WA1/2020 variant.
“These results identify hopeaphenol and related stilbenoid analogues as potent and selective inhibitors of viral entry across multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants including those with increased infectivity and/or reduced susceptibility to existing vaccines.
“SARS-CoV-2 antivirals are needed to supplement existing vaccine efforts and target emerging viral variants with increased infectivity or reduced susceptibility to existing vaccines. Here we show that hopeaphenol, a naturally-occurring stilbenoid compound, in addition to its analogues vatalbinoside A and vaticanol B, inhibit SARS-CoV-2 by blocking the interaction of the viral spike protein with the cellular ACE2 entry receptor.
“Importantly, in addition to inhibiting the early USA-WA1/2020 SARS-CoV-2 variant, Hopeaphenol also inhibits emerging variants of concern including B.1.1.7 (“United Kingdom variant”) and B.1.351 (“South Africa variant”), with improved efficacy against B.1.351.
“Hopeaphenol therefore represents a new antiviral lead against infection from multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants”.
The authors have declared no competing interest adding that Clinical Trials and Epidemiology subject categories are now closed to new submissions following the completion of bioRxiv’s clinical research pilot project and launch of the dedicated health sciences server medRxiv (
However, the authors noted that this article is a preprint and has not been certified by peer review.

Niugini BioMed
Dr Bomai Kerenga, who has a PhD in biochemistry with competency in molecular and structural biology is also leading an all-nationals team (excluding Prof Rali) in the assimilation of over 30,000 generic drugs that have found 10 to have the potential for Covid treatment.
Dr Kerenga is perhaps one of the only two scientists in PNG that solved a three dimensional (3D) structure of a protein.
“Understanding the structural composition of a virus (or bacteria) provides vital clues to the mode of cell entry, mechanism of action, as well as the replication, transcription and translation events of the virus,” Dr Kerenga said.
“Vaccines are either disarmed variants of a pathogenic microbe, or a chiral isomer of mostly surface proteins such as the spike proteins of envelope viruses. Hence, the only way to disarm a pathogenic microbe such as bacteria or a virus is to understand the structure and by identifying the critical moiety within the structural architecture.
Dr Kerenga’s current work on the search for Covid-19 cure among the generic drugs is basically an application of his skills and expertise. He brings his wider expertise in the discoveries of active proteins to finding a solution to the current Covid-19 pandemic and should be supported not only for the present need for a Covid-19 cure but seeing the huge significance it has in the job and wealth creation opportunities for PNG.
Niugini BioMed had requested a K10.2 million funding from the PNG Government for the “procurement of drugs and equipment”.
Prime Minister James Marape has attested to this research. In spite of public criticism, Marape has defended plans by his Government to fund Niugini BioMed. Perhaps he should give the same attention to development of hopeaphenol as well.
Marape said there was nothing “illegal” about the Government’s involvement with Niugini BioMed.
Instead he said he was confident a successful Covid treatment could be found within PNG borders.
“We are a nation of huge biodiversity, in fact, with 5 to 7 per cent of the world’s biodiversity. Our ancestors lived with malaria, snake bites and all manner of tropical diseases. I am certain that we can find new medicines, amidst all this biodiversity in our blessed land.”

Medline Pacific
Dr Samuel Maima is a leading clinician, researcher, innovator and scientist in PNG and an authority in the area of natural medicine – an effective alternative approach to healing & health.
According to Dr Maima “Covid vaccines were already developed but they are actually hiding them.
“I develop my own treatment protocol for Coronavirus as well as preventative measures as chemopreventive strategies. It won’t be something sanctioned by WHO.
“I subscribe to natural medicine but for the benefit of everyone I decide in our treatment protocol to include chloroquine, azithromycin and zinc.”
Dr Maima said in natural medicine they recommend adequate sleep, balanced organic nutrition and exercise, lime tea, pawpaw seed for symptomatic cases, nuclear factor inhibitor (haumay synergy).
“For complicated SARS-CoV-2 we add stem cell capsules or those who have comorbidities with SARS-COV-2.
“This is again from natural medicine where we combine stem cell therapy, nutritional medicine and nuclear factor inhibitor.
“We are actually providing some alternatives. It is what we perceive locally.
“This is the opportunity presented to use our safe, friendly and natural medicine. Again we will give choices to those who actually need the treatment.
“I am also for hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and zinc. I will give my scientific position on the use of face masks. In my view, there is no benefit to use face masks because in the upper airway including lungs we are creating relatively acidic.
“The total oxygen requirements by the entire human body cells are relatively reduced. The normal flora in the airways and digestive system depends on an ample level of cellular oxygen. If the relative oxygen concentration is reduced and cells become relatively acidic we will create problems for the normal microbial flora where they live in a symbiotic environment.
“It will cause further problems and when someone is infected with any form of infections be it Coronavirus or other medical conditions, the medical conditions will worsen and get severe because tissue oxygenation is impaired with sustained use of face masks.
“This is my scientific argument against an infection rate of SARS-COV-2 to be less than 0.4 per cent by our national data.
“Case fatality is also very trivial and so the position that I have taken for this country and the people of PNG is that “Coronavirus cannot kill two birds with one stone.
“One bird being the national economy and the other bird being the people’s lives. We have to find the balance. The balance is to keep the old and those with comorbidities to be securely isolated and get on the business of running the country effectively.
“It will be the most terrible mistake to allow Corona virus to kill the national economy. We are already broken economically and we cannot afford to break it into pieces any further where we cannot recover.
“People will die. We must not be scared to die but surely, it will not kill the entire PNG population. This is the message the Government must take from my presentation.
“Government must make the bold decision in the interest of the economy and the people.
“There will not be any health workers to treat people because we have created a lot of misinformation. We have already created this fear by the mere number games.
“The scientific misinformation is huge. We created division in knowledge. A guided knowledge will be more valued.
“For those of us who differ in our positions, the Government must listen to us. It will be very furtile to not listen to the other side of the advice that some of us are providing.
Dr Maima is the founder of Medline Pacific, a registered health, medical and scientific organisation. Medline Pacific specialises in neuroscience, stem cell science, regenerative medicine, clinical medicine, reproductive physiology, addiction science, biomaterial science and rejuvenation science – a first in PNG and the Pacific.
“I am inclined to inform patients who are sure to derive the actual cure and the promotion of the enhancement of longevity and productivity through cellular regenerations from the alternative, safe, cell-friendly and effective therapeutics we produce and provide here in PNG.
“We interact and integrate neuroscience, stem cell science, regenerative medicine, biomaterial science, addictions science and clinical medicine to devise and formulate therapeutics that are natural, safe, cell-friendly and effective that can confer the real cures of diseases including clinical addiction.
“With the three combined therapies we are now able to treat medical diseases that are considered incurable by conventional orthodox medicine. These include cancers, liver cirrhosis, end-stage heart failures, TB bronchiectasis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with right heart failure, dementia, Parkinson’s, multi-drug resistant TB, asthma, diabetes and other complications, blindness, obesity, HIV/AIDS and many more.
“The notable cancers that we treat and actually cured are ovarian cancer, lymphoma, leukemia, colorectal cancer, breast cancer and just recently a tongue cancer in Kundiawa. Some of these cancer patients are living more than five years now without surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
“This success supersede long held notions that natural methods of therapeutics cannot cure. We categorically quell these long-held-views abetted by allopathic medical practitioners.
“On the contrary, we confer real cures here in PNG. We have saved many lives and many more Papua New Guineans are saved and benefiting from our alternative therapies.
“Because we produce therapeutics, we do not charge consultation fees. We provide free medical consultations so you can pick up a phone and call us or email us anytime to discuss medical diseases and conditions that you or your families or people that you know are being affected by and suffered for a long time.
“We have a proven track record of providing “alternative natural medicine” in PNG – in the last nine years. Even foreigners are coming and are being treated in PNG.”

  • Cyril Gare is a freelance journalist.