China approves emergency use of two drugs against Covid-19

Beijing, Dec 9 (EFE).- China’s drug control authorities approved the emergency use of two drugs based on monoclonal antibodies to treat Covid-19 in adolescents and adults with mild to moderate symptoms, official media reported Thursday.

The drugs, called BRII-196 and BRII-198, have been developed by Tsinghua University, Shenzhen (south) People’s Hospital No. 3 and Brii Biosciences, according to state agency Xinhua.

It is, according to this medium, the first treatment against Covid-19 of its kind approved in China under independent intellectual property rights.

The information released by the National Administration of Medical Products said the drugs are used in combination to treat adolescents and adults with mild to moderate symptoms and high risk factors that could lead to the evolution to serious states of the disease.

At the moment, the treatment has been approved for use in adolescents 12 to 17 weighing more than 40 kilograms.

The drugs use antibodies obtained from patients who have overcome Covid-19 and have neutralized the virus during the phases of previously developed clinical trials.

Brii Biosciences announced at the end of August that the treatment demonstrated a reduction of up to 78 percent in hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19 during a third phase of clinical trials carried out in the United States, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Argentina and the Philippines.

In China, the third phase of testing has been carried out in the cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen (South Guangzhou province) and Nanjing and Yangzhou (East Jiangsu province).

Chinese companies and institutions are also developing two other drugs against the new coronavirus.

State pharmaceutical company Sinopharm – responsible for two Covid-19 vaccines being used in several countries – is investigating a therapy based on the plasma of recovered patients and whose clinical trials will soon begin in the United Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile, biotechnology company Kintor is working on a third formula that is also in the testing phase.

China has accumulated 99,454 infections since the beginning of the pandemic – 83 of them notified this Thursday – and 4,636 deaths from Covid-19, according to data from the National Health Commission.

The country for the moment rules out living with the virus and maintains a policy of “zero tolerance” that entails a strict closure of borders and the application of harsh containment measures and mobility restrictions every time outbreaks are detected in its territory. EFE


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