Chinese experts have reportedly unearthed virus-neutralizing antibodies among some coronavirus patients who recovered from the illness. The antibodies found in their plasma can kill the virus strain, a group of researchers said.
Virus-Neutralizing Antibodies Found in Blood Plasma
According to the South China Morning Post, the China National Biotec Group's researchers announced Thursday evening that the antibodies were retrieved from the plasma of recovered CoViD-2019 patients.
Beijing News first reported the story on Friday morning, raising hopes for a potential cure that could finally end the travail of people still recovering from the disease.
So far, the company said it has treated 11 patients who were initially in critical conditions. The results were good, the company revealed. The plasma of recovered patients where the antibodies were found have been prepared appropriately under strict biological safety testing measures.
Based on the clinical tests carried out on the first three critical patients on February 8, symptoms subsided significantly after 12 to 24 hours of treatments among the tested cases in Wuhan, the center of the coronavirus outbreak.
It remains to be seen whether an effective cure or treatment will be developed using the antibodies found in recovered coronavirus patients.
The infection toll in China has been dropping over the past few days but numbers in Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, continues to grow.
Expert Urges Plasma Donation Drive
After news of the antibodies emerged, head of Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital Zhang Dingyu encouraged recovered patients to donate their plasma for further studies, Xinhua reported.
Only initial results of the latest testing on Wuhan patients have been revealed but it is expected that as more recovered patients donate plasma to respective hospitals, more evidence will show regarding the effectivity of antibodies in treating the CoViD-2019 strain.
As of Wednesday, Chinese health authorities confirmed that 5,911 patients who were once infected with the coronavirus have been discharged from hospitals around the country.
On Wednesday alone, there were a total of 1,171 people who were discharged after full recovery. Experts noted that the increasing number of people recovering from the coronavirus can be proof that there are good chances of recovering from the fast-spreading disease.
Recovered Patient Donates Blood Plasma for Treatment Research
Earlier this month, a patient from Guangdong province's Qingyuan expressed his desire to help in the race towards finding a coronavirus cure. According to ecns, the 19-year-old discharged patient said at that time that he will donate his blood plasma to accelerate scientific research on the Wuhan coronavirus.
The said patient was diagnosed on January 24 after returning from Hubei province for a particular training. He then stayed at a Qingyuan hospital for 10 days before completely recovering and getting cleared of the virus.
Gilead Sciences' Remdesivir Eases Symptoms in Monkeys with MERS
Meanwhile, other eyes are on Gilead Sciences, after a study published Thursday revealed that the biopharmaceutical company's Remdesivir significantly reduced MERS symptoms in monkeys tested.
According to Reuters, the antiviral drug was used in monkeys infected with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, a strain that is closely linked to the Wuhan coronavirus.
Remdesivir is currently undergoing clinical trials in China after the government welcomed the idea of testing the antiviral drug among CoViD-2019 patients. It remains to be seen whether the drug can effectively be used to treat coronavirus-infected cases.
The latest developments in research around MERS were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Quick Facts on CoViD-2019
As of Thursday, China has reported almost 60,000 people infected with the Wuhan coronavirus. There have been Over 1,370 deaths, and most of the said deaths were in Hubei province, the New York Times reported.
In Hubei alone, the confirmed cases have reached 14,840, marking a new daily record in terms of infection.