A new drug has been developed by a Chinese laboratory which is believed to have the power to control the coronavirus pandemic. The deadly virus that was first originated in China last year in December has rapidly spread all over the world turning into a global pandemic.
Scientists all over the world are trying their best to find treatments and vaccines. China’s famous Peking University has recently tested a drug that has shown the potential to shorten the recovery time of the infected persons. The researchers further claim that it also offers short-time immunity from the virus.
Sunney Xie, director of the university’s Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics, informed that the drug has been successful at the animal testing stage.
“When we injected neutralising antibodies into infected mice, after five days the viral load was reduced by a factor of 2,500,” said Xie.
“That means this potential drug has (a) therapeutic effect.”
The drug by using neutralising antibodies, produced by the human immune system, prevents the virus infecting cells. Xie’s team isolated the antibodies from the blood of 60 recovered patients. On Sunday, a study by the researchers published in the scientific journal Cell where it suggested that using antibodies provides a potential “cure” for the disease and shortens recovery time.
“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,” Xie said. He also revealed that they are planning for clinical trial and it will be carried out in Australia and other countries.
“The hope is these neutralised antibodies can become a specialised drug that would stop the pandemic,” he said. In China, more than 700 patients have received plasma therapy. “However, it (plasma) is limited in supply,” Xie said and that the 14 neutralising antibodies used in their drug could be put into mass production quickly.