2 Chinese anti-COVID-19 drug candidates enter human trials
Two Chinese antiviral medicine for COVID-19 mainly developed by the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica under the Chinese Academy of Sciences have commenced human trials overseas.
One candidate, coded VV116, is an oral anti-COVID-19 nucleoside drug that has yielded promising results in animal models. It has shown significant inhibiting activity against COVID-19 original strain and variant strain, such as the Delta variant, in vitro tests, the institute said Wednesday.
"VV116 was first approved for clinical trials in Uzbekistan," said Shen Jingshan, a researcher with the institute, adding that human trials are also underway in China.
The other candidate is called FB2001. It is a novel compound designed and synthesized based on the coronavirus' main protease, a key enzyme that plays a pivotal role in viral replication.
Preclinical research also showed that the compound exhibited potent inhibitory activity against the virus in cell culture, said lead researcher Liu Hong.
Researchers conducted phase-1 trials in the United States in March after preclinical research results were published in the journal Science in June 2020.
The drug was jointly developed by the Shanghai institute, the ShanghaiTech University and the Wuhan Institute of Virology under the CAS.