COVID-19: Drug being tested in China may offer short term immunity to the virus

A research team in Beijing claimed to have successfully tested an experimental drug on animal that will reduce recovery time for COVID-19 patients and offer short-term immunity to the pathogen (Virus)

Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: Getty)
Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: Getty)
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NH Web Desk

A research team from Beijing, China has claimed to have successfully tested an experimental drug on animal that will reduce the recovery time for COVID-19 patients and offer short-term immunity to the pathogen (Virus) that was originated in Wuhan last year, a report in Hindustan Times (HT) said.

Team led by Sunney Xie, the director of its Beijing Advanced Innovation Centre for Genomics, has successfully identified multiple highly potent neutralising antibodies against the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the causative virus of the respiratory disease COVID-19 from convalescent plasma [a blood fluid] by high-throughput single-cell sequencing, Peking University in Beijing said on Monday.

As per the study by Sunney Xie that was published online on Sunday, the “potent neutralising antibody could be used to develop drugs for both therapeutic intervention and prophylactic [preventive] protection against SARS-CoV-2,” the report in HT said.

“If the COVID-19 epidemic reappears in the winter, our neutralising antibody might be available by that time,” Xie said in the statement.

HT quoted Sunney Xie as saying, when we injected 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.

According to HT, the drug uses neutralising anti bodies produced by human immune system to prevent the virus from infecting cells, which Xie’s team isolated from the blood of 60 recovered patients.

Referring to the past of different viruses, antibodies have been successful in treating viruses like HIV, Ebola and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.

Over 100 vaccines for COVID-19 are under observation and in progress even as the World Health Organisation has cautioned developing one could take up to 18 months.

Clinical trials in US have showed that Ebola vaccine drug Remdesivir shortened recovery time in some COVID-19 patients by a third.

According to municipal health official, three COVID-19 vaccines have entered phase 2 of clinical trials in Beijing.

Five innovative drugs have also been approved for clinical trials and all of them have entered phase II clinical studies, said Xu Qiang, the head of the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission.

The respiratory disease, Novel Coronavirus has gripped the entire world with infection, over 4.8 million people globally have been infected by the deadly virus and over 315,000 have lost their lives since its origin in China last year.

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Published: 20 May 2020, 10:03 AM
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