2022-07-26 18:30


China Approved HIV Drug to Treat COVID, Might Clear Virus in 5d

China Approved HIV Drug to Treat COVID, Might Clear Virus in 5d

China on Monday gave conditional approval to domestic firm Genuine Biotech's Azvudine pill to treat certain adult patients with COVID-19.

The Azvudine tablet is a small-molecule oral drug that aims to inhibit the replication of RNA viruses. China approved the use of Azvudine in July last year to treat certain HIV-1 virus infections. Now it has been given a conditional green light to treat adult patients with "normal type" COVID, the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) said in a statement. 

"Normal type" COVID is a term China uses to refer to coronavirus infections where there are signs of pneumonia, but the patients haven't reached a severe stage.

Phase 3 trials of the drug have been conducted in China, Brazil and Russia since April 2020, with the results suggesting it can significantly reduce recovery time for patients with mild cases of Covid-19, according to a Henan Daily report on July 15.

About 40 per cent of trial participants given Azvudine had improved symptoms within seven days, 30 per cent higher than those in the placebo group, the report said.

It said the trials also found the drug had inhibitory activity against the coronavirus and that it could potentially clear the virus in 5 days.

The approval of using Azvudine pill adds another oral treatment option against the coronavirus. China in February allowed the use of Pfizer's oral treatment Paxlovid in adults with mild-to-moderate symptoms and high risk of progressing to a severe condition. In 2020, it approved the use of Lianhuaqingwen capsules, a traditional Chinese medicine-style formula, to alleviate symptoms of COVID such as fever and cough.

The NMPA held a nationwide video meeting where officials vowed to accelerate the development and approval of COVID-19 therapies, enhance supervision on the quality of COVID-19 vaccines and guarantee the safety and efficiency of COVID-19 PCR testing kits.

The availability of effective COVID vaccines and treatments is crucial in laying the groundwork for China's potential pivoting from its "dynamic COVID zero" policy, which aims to eliminate every outbreak - however small - and relies on mass testing and strict quarantining.

Source: Reuters, South China Morning Post, Global Times


COVID-19 Update July. 26th

1. Shanghai: 

+4 local cases

+2 imported COVID-19 cases

2. Chinese mainland:

+98 local cases

+50 imported COVID-19 cases

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