A Chinese official said Saturday that several antiviral drugs have been used to treat novel coronavirus outbreaks in China that have killed more than 1,500 people in clinical trials and some have been successful.
Health officials said Saturday that China’s novel coronavirus (COVID-19) death toll has increased to 1,523, with 143 new deaths coming mainly from the worst affected province and jumping from confirmed cases. There were 66,000.
Researchers in China have turned their attention to some of the current medications, including Chloroquine Phosphate, Favipiravir, and Remdesivir, after Zhang Zhenman, director of the China National Center for Biotechnology Development, conducted several screening visits.
In vitro experiments have shown that chloroquine phosphate, an antimalarial drug that has been widely used for many years, can effectively prevent novel coronavirus infections.
It is now the victim of clinical trials in more than 10 hospitals in Beijing and Guangdong, in which more than 100 patients have been enrolled. Drug-related clinical trials will soon begin in Hunan province, central China, Zhang said.
Preliminary medical results show that chloroquine phosphate is very effective in treating novel coronavirus pneumonia, he said.
An influenza drug called Favipiravir is available in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, south China, has been put in a clinical trial with 70 patients enlisted, he said.
Preliminary results from the study show that the drug has relatively apparent effectiveness and few side effects.
“Three to four days after treatment, the group that takes the drug has a significantly higher turning-negative rate in the viral nucleic acid than the parallel-group,” he said.
Remdesavir was developed by Gilead Sciences, an American pharmaceutical company, to combat Ebola infection. It has shown good antiviral activity against the new coronavirus at the cellular level.
China-Japan Friendship Hospital and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Institute for Materia Medica have been authorized to conduct clinical drug trials in more than 10 hospitals in the epidemic of the epidemic in Hubei Province, Central China.
“Next, we will make timely recommendations on the COVID-19 treatment according to the results of these clinical trials,” Zhang said.
According to him, researchers scanned more than 70,000 drugs or compounds in computer simulations and in vitro enzyme activity tests and selected 5,000 potentially effective candidates.
They were then tested on a cellular level against common coronavirus infections, and about 100 drugs were selected for further experiments, which helped select the final drug for clinical trials.
The most scientific research work is to improve treatment rates and reduce mortality, which is based on effective clinical treatment.
New products and technologies have been introduced to treat critically ill and critically ill patients, an important approach to reduce deaths, and some have had good medical effects, he said.
One of the recent developments in the development of convalescent plasma. It is obtained from the plasma of patients and contains a large number of protective antibodies.
To date, a total of 11 acute patients from several Wuhan hospitals have received convulsion plasma therapy, which improves clinical indications and has no obvious side effects.
Clinical studies about stem cell therapy that can prevent abusing the body’s immune system have also been used to treat acute patients.
According to Zhu Qi, a specialist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), a major cause of death for serious and critically ill patients with COVID-19 is the “cytokine storm”, which has a profound impact on the immune system.
“We are also searching for existing drugs that can curb the appearance of cytokine storm, including drugs against rheumatism. Some of the drugs that are proven effective at the cellular level have been applied in clinical trials,” Zhou said at the press conference.
A trial has been conducted on 14 severe or critically ill patients aged up to 82 in an affiliated hospital of the University of the CAS, and the results appeared encouraging, Zhou said.
“Now, a multicenter, randomized, parallel-group clinical trial is underway. If the initial results show a drug is effective, we may speed up the process and provide severe patients with effective treatments as soon as possible,” he added. – Xinhua/Asian News Network