A research team in China hopes that the drug developed by them could destroy the coronavirus

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A research team in China hopes that the drug developed by them could destroy the coronavirus

The New Drug from China could be a ray of hope for covid patients

Tuesday, 19th May 2020

A lab in China’s renowned Peking University had been researching on a drug and they believe that this drug has the potential to make the Coronavirus pandemic come to an end. This drug, as claimed by the scientists involved in the research, could offer patients with short-term immunity power to stay guard against the coronavirus and could also shorten the time span needed for patients to recover from the Covid-19 infection. The pandemic started in China towards the end of 2019 prior to spreading worldwide and that had prompted the international experts to look for suitable vaccines and treatments.


Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics that falls under the Peking University has as its director, Sunney Xie. Recently, he has informed the AFP that this drug has been found successful in its animal trial stage


Xie said: "When we injected neutralising antibodies into infected mice, after five days the viral load was reduced by a factor of 2,500". He further said: "That means this potential drug has (a) therapeutic effect."


The drug makes use of neutralising antibodies – made by our immune system to stop the COVID-19 virus from infecting the cells – which Sunney Xie's research team has separated from the bloodstream of 60 patients who have recovered from the infection. A paper related to this research was published this Sunday in ‘Cell’; a well known science journal and it has been declared through that paper that using those neutralising antibodies could serve as a revolutionary ‘cure’ for the infection and could also shorten the recovery time span of patients. Xie informed that his research team is working 24/7 in finding the needed antibody.


Xie further said: "Our expertise is single-cell genomics rather than immunology or virology. When we realised that the single-cell genomic approach can effectively find the neutralising antibody we were thrilled."


He also said that this medicine could be ready for use towards the latter half of the year and may be just on time in the context of suppressing potential outbreak of the virus during the winters


Xie further informed that"Planning for the clinical trial is underway," said Xie, and that such trials would be executed in Australia and also other countries as the number of covid cases have now decreased in China, offering only a few human guinea pigs to meet the trial needs.


Xie said in this context: "The hope is these neutralised antibodies can become a specialised drug that would stop the pandemic,"

China has already formulated five potentially effective coronavirus vaccines that are now at the stage of human trials as reported by a health officer in the past week.


But WHO has warned the nations of the world that they might have to wait for about 12-18 months to get a vaccine as formulating an effective vaccine could take that much time.


Scientists have highlighted the benefits plasma; a kind of blood fluid could bring. They have gathered the fluid sample from patients who have recovered from the infection and have successfully antibodies to defend the body against the virus.


The Plasma therapy has already been applied on over 700 patients in China and experts believe that it could have "very good therapeutic effects".


"However, it (plasma) is limited in supply," said Xie, further specifying that 14 antibodies used in the drug may be produced for the masses at large-scale soon.


Prevention + Cure

Using neutralizing antibodies in this drug based therapy isn’t anything new, and has been used successfully for the treatment of multiple other viruses like Ebola, HIV and MERS. Xie informed that his research team got the chance to start early since China’s Wuhan was the place where the outbreak had started for the first time before moving to the other countries of the world.


Remdesivir; a drug that was used for treating Ebola was regarded as the only early treatment  hope for the COVID-19 infection -- clinical trials conducted in America showed that it could shorten recovery time in few patients by about a third -- but not much difference was seen in the mortality rate.


This new medicine, as is believed by the research team, could guard you against the virus on a short-term basis.

The study revealed that when the neutralising antibody shots were given to the uninfected mice, they didn’t catch the infection.


This, according to Xie, could stay the attack of infection for healthcare staffs on a temporary basis; i.e. for a couple of weeks, which they are trying to pull to a couple of months.


Over 100 COVID-19 vaccines are in use in research works globally. However, since the vaccine development procedure is significantly demanding, Xie is hopeful that this new drug could be a rather fast-acting and more efficient drug for curbing the progress of the virus when compared to its predecessors and other similar contemporary drugs.


Xie said:"We would be able to stop the pandemic with an effective drug, even without a vaccine."



Source: NDTV

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