The first confirmed coronavirus case was detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year before prevailing across the globe. Thus, an international race to develop vaccines and treatments was prompted.
For a long time, China remained the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.
Scientists at the prestigious Peking University in China are currently testing the drug. According to them, it will provide short-term immunity from the coronavirus and reduce the recovery duration for infected patients.
Director of the university's Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics Sunney Xie remarked that the drug has been effective in undergoing the animal testing stage.
To prohibit the virus from infecting cells, the drug utilizes neutralizing antibodies produced by the human immune system. Xie's team isolated the infected cells from 60 recovered patients' blood.
Scientific journal "Cell" published on Sunday indicated a study on the research team's work. The team suggested that using the antibodies offers a probable cure for the respiratory illness.
According to Xie, "Our expertise is single-cell genomics rather than immunology or virology. When we realized that the single-cell genomic approach can effectively find the neutralizing antibody we were thrilled."
Xie affirmed that they are looking at a clinical trial underway. The trial will take place in other countries such as Australia. This is due to the fact that cases have decreased in China and are offering fewer human guinea pigs to be tested.
A health official remarked last week that China already has five coronavirus vaccines lined up and are undergoing the human trial stage.
But creating a vaccine could take 12 to 18 months, cautioned by the World Health Organization (WHO).
In China, over 700 patients have been serviced by plasma therapy. Authorities said the process revealed "very good therapeutic effects."
However, Xie said that plasma is limited in supply.
The approach of using antibodies in drug treatments is not newly-discovered. It has been effective as a treatment for numerous other viruses including Ebola, HIV, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
The researchers had an early heads up since the coronavirus outbreak was first detected in China before prevailing to other nations.
If the neutralizing antibody was administered before the mice were contracted the virus, the study revealed that the mice remained infection-free and no virus was ascertained.
It might offer short-term protection for health officials for a few weeks. Xie and his team are hoping to extend the protection to a few months.
Xie affirmed that "We would be able to stop the pandemic with an effective drug, even without a vaccine."
Recently, China but has been on the dubious side regarding a probable second wave of infections. This coincided with lockdowns being lifted and eased restrictions. But overall, the country has brought the pandemic under control.
A month has passed and China has not declared any new fatalities from the coronavirus.
Related Article: PETA Video Reveals Asian Wet Markets Still Selling Bats, Monkeys