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At least 7 anti-virus small-molecule drugs in clinical research: expert

2020-February-4       Source: Xinhuanet.com

Seven small-molecule drugs, specifically targeting the RNA polymerase and protease of 2019-nCoV are currently in clinical research, which provides insights for the research and development of antibody drugs.

Chinese renowned respiratory scientist Zhong Nanshan receives an interview with Xinhua in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province, Jan. 28, 2020. (Xinhua/Liu Dawei)

Seven small-molecule drugs, specifically targeting the RNA polymerase and protease of 2019-nCoV are currently in clinical research, which provides insights for the research and development of antibody drugs.

While no specific remedy has been found for the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), seven small-molecule drugs, specifically targeting the RNA polymerase and protease of 2019-nCoV are currently in clinical research, renowned Chinese respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan said Sunday in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

Researchers have found that ACE2, a type of enzyme receptor for the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV), also plays a key role in the 2019-nCoV's interaction with human cells.

"The two have high similarity in their receptor-binding domain (RBD)," Zhong said, noting that research show CR3022, a SARS-CoV-specific human monoclonal antibody, could bind potently with 2019-nCoV RBD thus neutralize the coronavirus infection.

A medical worker treats a patient at an isolation ward at a hospital in southwest China's Chongqing, Feb. 1, 2020. (Xinhua/Wang Quanchao)

This provides insights for the research and development of antibody drugs, Zhong said, although more clinical evidence is needed to prove the effect of drugs used in some individual cases and it takes time for the vaccine against the virus not yet developed to go into clinical application.

"We have developed some effective treatment plans based on successful experience and practices from fighting against SARS. The use of multiple life support measures has increased the success rate of treatment," Zhong said.

"As we learn more about the disease and get more experienced in diagnosis and treatment, the treatment plan is being updated by experts organized by the National Health Commission, to provide guidance to doctors nationwide. The current plan is already the fourth version," Zhong said.

Editor: Monica Liu

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