MAY 19, 2020 10:11 AM PDT

Can Chinese Drug Cure COVID-19 Without Vaccine?

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Researchers at China’s Peking University have announced that they are developing a treatment capable of blocking COVID-19, without need for a vaccine. 

Their drug works giving patients 14 neutralizing antibodies that prevent the virus from infecting cells and spreading. Successfully tested on animal models, current results suggest that it may be able to significantly shorten recovery times. 

“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,” Sunney Xie, director of the university’s Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics. “The hope is these neutralised antibodies can become a specialised drug that would stop the pandemic,”

Plans to put the drug under clinical trials are now underway. As cases in China have dwindled in recent months, the researchers intend to conduct them on patients in Australia and further afield. Xie says that should all go to plan, the drug should be available for widespread use later this year; in time for a potential of a second wave during the winter. 

Beyond this treatment, China already has five vaccine candidates in human trials. However, due to their remaining 12-18 month timelines, drug companies and research labs alike are keen to find other avenues to curb the virus’s spread. 

Previously, scientists pointed out the potential benefits of injecting infected individuals with blood (and therefore, antibodies) from individuals who have already recovered from the virus. They hoped that the new antibodies would boost patients’ immunity and help them recover faster. Although showing ‘very good therapeutic effects’ among over 700 patients across China who received the therapy, due to limited supply of blood plasma, the treatment is not scalable. 

This is why Peking University’s antibody treatment may be a promising way to curb the spread of the COVID-19. Unlike blood transfusions, the 14 antibodies developed by the researchers can be mass-produced. Thus, should clinical trials show their effectiveness, they may become key in curbing the virus’s spread.  


Sources: The Star, Times Now News , NDTV

About the Author
  • Science writer with keen interests in technology and behavioral biology. Her current focus is on the interplay between these fields to create meaningful interactions, applications and environments.
You May Also Like
OCT 01, 2020
Cancer
Understanding in vivo Metabolomics: C13 Isotope Studies
OCT 01, 2020
Understanding in vivo Metabolomics: C13 Isotope Studies
One key to understanding cancer metabolomics lies in the ability to accurately replicate the natural environment of the ...
OCT 06, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
New Immunotherapy Drug Effective Against Lung Cancer
OCT 06, 2020
New Immunotherapy Drug Effective Against Lung Cancer
A new study has confirmed that Tecentriq, an immunotherapy drug, improves survival rates among those with newly diagnose ...
NOV 01, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Can Cannabis Treat ALS?
NOV 01, 2020
Can Cannabis Treat ALS?
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative illness that damages motor neurons and leads to progressive m ...
NOV 09, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
COVID-19 Vaccine by Pfizer More than 90% Effective
NOV 09, 2020
COVID-19 Vaccine by Pfizer More than 90% Effective
A preliminary analysis of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine shows that it can prevent over 90% of people from c ...
NOV 26, 2020
Cardiology
Possible Cardioprotective Effects of the Diabetes Drug Empagliflozin
NOV 26, 2020
Possible Cardioprotective Effects of the Diabetes Drug Empagliflozin
Cardiovascular disease and diabetes are often associated with each other, as many issues caused by diabetes promote hear ...
NOV 16, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
A Change of Heart
NOV 16, 2020
A Change of Heart
For a long time cardiovascular issues related to the heart muscular wall have been addressed by therapeutics that target ...
Loading Comments...