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Three Approaches on the Way: Development of COVID-19 Drugs in China

Source: Science and Technology Daily| 2021-11-25 10:15:19| Author: Staff Reporters

By Staff Reporters

A variety of medicinal applications developed by China have been successfully used in clinical treatment in the ongoing battle against COVID-19. With a 78 percent reduction of hospitalization and deaths, the neutralizing monoclonal antibody combination therapy, BRII -196/BRII-198, developed by Tsinghua University, Third People's Hospital of Shenzhen and Brii Biosciences has made the most rapid progress.

The therapy has already been adopted in the treatment of around 700 patients in China.

Phase 3 clinical trials of the therapy, which is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), are being conducted in seven countries including the U.S., Brazil and the Philippines. It is also likely to be the first intervention to get emergency use authorization in developed countries such as the U.S.

By neutralizing the virus, the therapy prevents the virus from entering the cells, which is one of the three technical approaches used in the research and development (R&D) of COVID-19 medications. The other two are restraining the virus from duplicating and adjusting the immune system of the human body, which are also being researched in China.

China started the R&D of COVID-19 drugs as early as January 21, 2020. The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) organized the medication R&D as a special project in response to the pandemic. Less than a month later, a special working group on medication R&D was set up by MOST and several other departments. The working group included experts in relevant fields across China.

There have been 53 R&D emergency projects concerning clinical treatment and medication, and about 315 million RMB in funds provided by the government.

Recently, a new neutralizing antibody DXP-604 has been approved at the Beijing Ditan Hospital for compassionate use.


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