A worker weighs drugs at the workshop of a pharmaceutical company in Haikou, south China's Hainan Province, Feb. 3, 2020. The workshop of a pharmaceutical company in Haikou has been working round the clock since Jan. 20 to ensure the supply of drugs during the fight against novel coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua)
A batch of Remdesivir, an antiviral drug that will be put into clinical trials to test its efficiency on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), is expected to arrive in China on Tuesday, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Remdesivir has been used to treat Ebola infections abroad. Although the drug has not gone through all the procedures of clinical trials on the 2019-nCoV abroad, it has shown fairly good vitro activity in related domestic research, said Sun Yanrong, an official of the ministry, at a press conference held by the National Health Commission.
Recently, the National Medical Products Administration has approved the China-Japan Friendship Hospital and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, two applicants to test Remdesivir, to conduct clinical trials on the drug, Sun said.
"We hope good results will be achieved in the trials," Sun said.
Besides Remdesivir, researchers have also selected from screening several existing drugs, including Chloroquine phosphate and Favipiravir, as well as some traditional Chinese medicines that contain active antiviral ingredients as drug candidates, for further animal experiments and clinical trials.
In the research and development of drugs against the novel coronavirus, the priority is to improve the cure rate and reduce the fatality rate, Sun said.