China tests new drug that could stop Covid-19 ‘without vaccine’

China tests new drug that could stop Covid-19 'without vaccine’
PIONEERING: Scientists at China's Peking University believe working on genomics of microbes, rather than immunology or virology could be the solution to finding a lasting solution for the Corona Virus. PICTURE BY Phanganist

It is being tested at China’s Peking University.

Chinese scientists are testing a new drug that they say could stop the Covid-19 pandemic without the use of vaccine.

Researchers at China’s Peking University in Beijing say they believe the drug has the potential to offer immunity for the Corona Virus.

Sunney Xie, from Peking University, told AFP that the drug has been successful at an 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,” Xie said.

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Xie said that the team of scientists at the varsity work on genomics of microbes, rather than immunology or virology. 

“When we realised that the single-cell genomic approach can effectively find the neutralising antibody we were thrilled,” he said.

Neutralising antibodies are produced by the human immune system to prevent the virus from infecting cells.

The team isolated the blood of 60 recovered patients.

The study was published on Cell and suggested that using antibodies provides a potential “cure” for Covid-19.

The virus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan around November 2019 and had since spread across the world, infecting millions and killing thousands.

It affects the respiratory system and leads to difficulty in breathing.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said a vaccine could take time to be developed and become available for use – between 12 to 18 months as experts begin to conduct clinical trials to test the vaccine.

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.

(edited by MLM)

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