A group of researchers from China’s Peking University are developing a drug they say could cure the coronavirus and eliminate the need for a vaccine.
According to the scientists, who published their most recent study results in the scientific journal Cell, the drug can potentially reduce recovery time for coronavirus patients and provide short-term immunity.
To develop the drug, the team used a single-cell genomic approach to isolate neutralizing antibodies from 60 patients who have recovered from the coronavirus. After injecting the neutralizing antibodies into infected mice, the team found that after five days, the viral load was significantly reduced, showing a therapeutic effect. The study also showed that if mice were injected with the antibodies before being exposed to the coronavirus, they did not develop an infection.
Researchers have been taking a similar approach by using plasma from recovered patients to treat coronavirus patients. But the Peking team said that the supply of plasma will be limited and the 14 antibodies being used in their drug could be produced on a wide scale.
The researchers are now planning clinical trials in Australia.
Read the AFP report.