A Chinese laboratory believes that it has developed the drug that can bring the novel Coronavirus pandemic to a stop. Moreover, the drug, researchers say, can not only shorten the recovery time for those infected but even offer short-term immunity from the virus. The drug is currently being tested for its claims at China’s Peking University.
The drug uses neutralizing antibodies produced by the human immune system to prevent the virus infecting cells. These antibodies were isolated by the research team from the blood of 60 recovered patients.
Sunney Xie, director of the university’s Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics, told AFP that the drug has been successful at the animal testing stage. “When we injected neutralizing antibodies into infected mice, after five days the viral load was reduced by a factor of 2,500. That means this potential drug has (a) therapeutic effect.”
A study on the team’s research, published Sunday in the scientific journal Cell, suggests that using the antibodies provides a potential “cure” for the disease and shortens recovery time. Xie said, “Our expertise is single-cell genomics rather than immunology or virology. When we realized that the single-cell genomic approach can effectively find the neutralizing antibody we were thrilled.”
“Planning for the clinical trial is underway,” said Xie. He added that the drug should be ready for use later this year and in time for any potential winter outbreak of the virus.
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