Scientists at Peking University (China) used 14 antibodies in the plasma of cured people to create a drug that can be mass-produced and create immunity in the short term.
AFP news agency quoted Sunney Xie, director of the Beijing-based research laboratory, as saying the drug had been successfully tested on animals and was awaiting human trials.
“We are planning a clinical trial for this new drug,” Xie said, adding that it could be tested in Australia or other countries because of the number of COVID-19 infections in China. few left.
As of May 19, China had only 85 COVID-19 patients being treated in a total of nearly 83,000 cases.
According to AFP, Xie’s team uses neutralizing antibodies taken from the plasma of about 60 COVID-19 patients who have recovered.
They tried injecting neutralizing antibodies into infected mice, and after 5 days their viral load dropped to 2,500 times. If neutralizing antibodies were given to healthy mice, they were completely immune to the virus.
“That means the drug has the potential for effective treatment,” said Xie.
“Our specialty is unicellular genetics rather than immunology or virology. So when we realized that single-cell genomics could find effective neutralizing antibodies, we were happy.” to shivering “.
The use of plasma by cured people in COVID-19 treatment is not new. At least 700 patients in China have been treated this way. The United States has a similar research project.
However, according to Mr. Xie’s team, the disadvantage of this method is the limited supply of plasma. But the 14 types of neutralizing antibodies used in his team’s experimental drugs are different, because they can be mass produced quickly.
According to AFP, the only currently licensed drug for the treatment of COVID-19 is the US-made Remdesivir. Outside of the US, Japan is the second country to approve the use of the drug after extensive clinical trials have shown it helps shorten recovery time of patients to one third.
The Chinese drug being studied is thought to be even more advanced. In addition to speeding up the recovery process, the drug also helps create immunity in the short term, allowing vulnerable groups such as frontline doctors to be immune to the virus for weeks, even months after. when using.
There are currently about 100 COVID-19 vaccine development projects worldwide. China has 5 types of vaccines that have entered the human testing phase.
Mr. Xie’s team hopes his COVID-19 vaccine will reach its destination first because vaccine development requires a lot of rigorous measures. “We will be able to prevent the pandemic with an effective drug, even without the vaccine,” Xie confidently asserted.