Made-in-Vietnam Covid Medication Enters Clinical Trials
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The Ministry of Health announced that the Vietnamese Covid drug, named Vipdervir, was safe and effective in treating the disease on August 10. The ministry also approved clinical research for using the drug on patients at the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases.
Successful preclinical trial
Vipdervir is extracted and synthesized from medicinal herbs which are completely available in Vietnam, said Assoc. Prof. & Dr. Le Quang Huan, head of the research team from the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST).
The drug can prevent the virus from sticking to the host cell, making it impossible to penetrate into the host cell, according to the researcher. It can also inhibit the virus from multiplying in the cell, and can activate immune cells so that they recognize, block, and eliminate virions.
Evaluation also shows that Vipdervir can inhibit the growth of SARS-CoV-2 concentrations that give positive test results. Regarding its ability to enhance immunity, a proper amount of the drug can stimulate immunity to different degrees. These effects will together support the treatment of Covid-19.
Researchers have tested Vipdervir on rabbits and found that the drug is safe and inhibits the growth of H5N1 and SARS-CoV-2 viruses, according to VOV.
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Expectation to put into use by the end of 2021
Prof. Dr. Le Quang Huan, who is in charge of the drug research, said: "The results of preclinical studies have proven the safety and ability to restrain the development of virus as well as enhance immunity. This is an important scientific basis for us to continue to study the effectiveness of the drug on patients at clinical stage."
According to regulations, Vipdervir drug needs further research and clinical trials before mass use. Huan said the team would try to shorten the clinical trial time, thereby putting the drug into use as soon as possible, considering the current complicated pandemic situation.
Currently, the research team is also working on a tablet-making process on the basis of Vietnamese herbs meeting the Pharmacopoeia standards, ensuring timely production.
Nguyen Ngo Quang from the Ministry of Health said: "The Ministry of Health hopes that by the end of the year, clinical research will be completed and the drug will receive authorization to mass-produce. Human testing is expected to be carried out in about 2-3 months, then a mid-term review will be conducted to examine the results."
Regarding the upcoming clinical trial phase, Le Quang Huan said that there would be more than 200 Covid-19 patients being treated at the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases to volunteer for the test. This phase aims to find out the optimal dose of drug used on each Covid patient.
Along with Vipdervir, the Institute of Chemistry under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology has successfully researched a new method of synthesizing Favipiravir in the laboratory. Unlike much-sought-after Remdesivir, Favipiravir is administered orally and has been approved for use in Italy, Japan, Russia, and some other countries.
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