China-developed new anti-COVID-19 drug approved for clinical application
Published: Dec 26, 2022 11:45 PM
Vaccine. Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

A new antiviral drug used for the treatment of COVID-19 was approved for clinical application in China recently. The new drug has dual antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects, and has a wide coverage including Delta and Omicron strains, according to one of its developers Air Force Medical University of PLA.

The new drug, Meplazumab for Injection, was co-developed by Xi'an-based Air Force Medical University of PLA and Jiangsu Pacific Meinuoke Bio-pharmaceutical Co, which obtained complete independent intellectual property rights, Air Force Medical University of PLA said via its official WeChat account recently. The results of pharmaceutical studies of phase I to III clinical trials showed that the drug had good safety and was well-tolerated, and no drug-related serious adverse reactions were reported, said the university.

After treatment, the mortality rate among severe patients decreased by 83.6 percent, and the discharge rate increased by 17.3 percent, while the discharge rate of mild and ordinary COVID-19 patients was raised by 34.1 percent. Also, the rate of nucleic acid tests turning negative was lifted by 50 percent on the third day after using drugs and 100 percent on the fourth day, said its developer.

Related clinical trials have been carried out in public health centers in China including Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, Chengdu Public Health Clinical Center and Shenzhen Third People's Hospital. The drugs were used for clinical trials for 150 mild and ordinary COVID-19 patients, and the results have showed that the rate for the patients to turn negative of COVID-19 has been increased as well as the hospital discharge rate, according to the university.

China's first domestically developed oral drug for COVID-19 treatment Azvudine, produced by Genuine Biotech Limited based in Central China's Henan Province, has set its initial price at less than 300 yuan ($44.4) per bottle. China approved Pfizer's COVID-19 pill Paxlovid and the domestic neutralizing antibody therapy BRII-196/BRII-198 for COVID-19 treatment.