China speeds up COVID-19 medicine development
With the world still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese scientists are accelerating the development of COVID-19 medicines.
Tsinghua University, the Third People's Hospital of Shenzhen and Brii Biosciences have jointly developed a cocktail therapy of monoclonal antibodies BRII-196 and BRII-198, which are derived from antibodies isolated from people who had recovered from COVID-19.
Overseas, the cocktail therapy is undergoing phase-III clinical trials in seven countries, including the United States, Brazil and the Philippines.
"The BRII-196/BRII-198 medicines have been used in the clinical treatment of over 700 patients in China, and the clinical trials data at home and overseas shows the medicines could reduce severe symptoms and mortality by 78 percent," said Zhang Linqi, professor of the Tsinghua University's School of Medicine.
The research team applied to the National Medical Products Administration for conditional marketing authorization on October 9.
China has arranged three technical routes for COVID-19 medicine development, mainly focusing on blocking the entry of the virus into cells, inhibiting virus replication and regulating the human immune system.
DXP-604, a new neutralizing antibody medicine, has also been approved at the Beijing Ditan Hospital for compassionate use, an option to treat patients with life-threatening conditions with medical products outside of clinical trials when no other treatments are available.
The drug was jointly developed by Singlomics Biopharmaceuticals and a team led by Xie Xiaoliang, a professor at Peking University.