The United States is working with a pharmaceutical company to develop a treatment for coronavirus, officials said on Tuesday. As for now, the country has 11 confirmed cases of the virus. The official added that new treatment will be developed using a class of drug that boosted survival rates among Ebola patients.
According to reports, both the Department of Health and Human Services and Regeneron will develop monoclonal antibodies to fight the infection, a different line of treatment to the antiretrovirals and flu drugs that have also emerged as possible defences against the disease. Rick Bright, an official HHS said that emerging infectious diseases can present serious threats to their nation's health security. He added that working as public-private partners that they have with Regeneron since 2014, they can move rapidly to respond to new global health threats.
The monoclonal antibiotics are a form of immunotherapy and are lab produced copies of a single type of antibody. They lock on to certain proteins on a virus and neutralise pathogens’ ability to infect human cells. As for now, Chinese doctors have been giving anti-HIV drugs to all the coronavirus patients in Beijing based on a study published post-SARS outbreak that showed favourable outcomes.
Previously, Regeneron’s REGN-EB3, used last year and was shown to significantly boost survival rates among Ebola patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo. George Yancopoulos, Regeneron's president and the chief scientific officer said the life-saving results seen with the investigational Ebola therapy last year underscore the potential impact of Regeneron's rapid response platform for addressing emerging outbreaks.
The death toll in China due to the deadly Coronavirus has touched 490, as per the latest government reports. The government reported more deaths on Wednesday morning, leading to the crisis worsening. The Chinese government also reported that the number of people infected had crossed 24,300 across the country.