China experts claim new drug has potential to treat Covid-19

Chinese scientists claim new drug can stop COVID-19

Chinese scientists claim new drug can stop COVID-19

Now, a Chinese laboratory says it has developed a drug that can stop the virus without the need for a vaccine.

The novel Coronavirus was first detected in China late past year before spreading across the world, prompting an global race to find treatments and vaccines.

AFP reports that scientists at the lab are testing a drug that could not only shorten the recovery time, but also offer short-term immunity from the coronavirus. Talking with AFPSunney Xie, director of the Beijing University of Beijing Center for Advanced Genomics Innovation, revealed that the treatment dramatically reduced viral load in mice.

Sunney Xie said that they injected the drug into the mice and the viral load was reduced by a factor of 2500 after five days.

Xie said his laboratory's drug should be ready for use later this year, with clinical trials likely to be done outside of China where case numbers have dwindled.

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This particular drug uses neutralizing antibodies that are produced by the human immune system that prevents the virus from infecting cells. A study on the team's research, published on Sunday in the scientific journal Cell, suggests that using the antibodies provides a potential "cure" for the disease. Their expertise on single-cell genomics proved to be effective in finding this antibody rather than immunology or virology, according to the report.

He said that these neutralized antibodies are expected to prevent the pandemic in the form of a specific drug. The head of the program says that the plasma of patients who have recovered from the disease has been used to prepare the medicine.

However, such plasma is in limited supply.

The new drug could even offer short-term protection against the virus.

Drugs based on the use of antibodies have previously been successful in treating viruses such as HIV, Ebola and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

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While current trials showed the period of protection for medical workers could potentially last a few weeks, Xie voiced hope further studies could extend that to several months.

On Monday, the Cambridge-headquartered firm Moderna said it had completed the Phase I of its trials and that results were very encouraging.

More than 100 vaccines for COVID-19 are in the works globally, but as the process of vaccine development is more demanding, Xie is hoping that the new drug could be a faster and more efficient way to stop the global march of the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Thaweesilp said Thailand continued to record single-digit new cases and no fatalities over the last 24 hours bringing the tally to 3,034 cases with the death toll remaining at 56.

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