- A Chinese laboratory has been working on a drug it believes could bring the coronavirus pandemic to an end
- The nation's prestigious Peking University has been testing the possible cure and the results thus far are giving scientists reason to believe they are right on the money
- This comes as an international race to find treatments and vaccines amid a global disaster
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A Chinese laboratory at Peking University believes it has found a drug with the power to bring COVID-19 to an end.
AFP reports that scientists at the lab are testing a drug that could not only shorten the recovery time, but also offer short-term immunity from the coronavirus.
Sunney Xie, director of the Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics, said testing on animals has proven effective:
“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.”
Using neutralising antibodies produced by the human immune system to prevent infections, the scientists have isolated blood from 60 recovered patients.
Xie said his team has been working around the clock in search of the antibody that could solve the world's most pressing problem:
“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.”
The Citizen reports that the drug should be ready for use later this year and just in time for a potential winter outbreak.
Xie added that preparation for a clinical trial is well underway, revealing that it will be conducted in Australia.
“We would be able to stop the pandemic with an effective drug, even without a vaccine."
In other news, Seychelles has attained coronavirus-free status after the ministry of health announced full recoveries as of Monday May 18, becoming the third African country to achieve the feat behind Mauritius and Eritrea.
Seychelles' confirmed COVID-19 cases stood at 11, all of whom have been successfully treated and discharged, 74 others remain in quarantine.
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