Scientific researchers at Peking University in China, have started testing a new drug.
The drug, scientists say, is capable of not just shortening the recovery time of those infected, but also capable of offering short term immunity against it.
Sunney Xie, director of the university’s Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics, told newsmen that the drug has successfully passed animal trials.
“When we injected neutralising antibodies into infected mice, after five days, the viral load was reduced by a factor of 2,500. That means this potential drug has (a) therapeutic effect.”
The drug uses neutralising antibodies – produced by the human immune system to prevent the virus infecting cells – which Xie’s team isolated from the blood of 60 recovered patients.
Xie said they have been working around the clock searching for the antibody.
“Our expertise is single-cell genomics rather than immunology or virology. When we realised that the single-cell genomic approach can effectively find the neutralising antibody we were thrilled.”
Xie added that, hopefully the drug will be ready later this year.