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Some vaccines against covid-19 enter animal testing phase

Feb. 19, 2020

Since the outbreak of new crown pneumonia, the public is eager to know the "antidote" to the new coronavirus and the development of vaccines. The State Council's joint prevention and control mechanism held a press conference to introduce the latest progress of drug research and development and scientific research.

The reporter learned from the press conference that a number of "old drugs", such as the antimalarial drug chloroquine phosphate, the anti-Ebola virus lendesivir (redexivir), and the anti-influenza drug fapivir, have begun clinical trials. And initially showed good results. At the same time, some vaccine varieties have entered the animal test stage, and the research and development progress of the Chinese scientific research team has basically kept pace with international progress.

Accelerating the development of on-site rapid testing products

Wu Yuanbin, Director of the Department of Social Development and Science and Technology of the Ministry of Science and Technology, introduced that on January 20th, the State Council ’s joint defense and control mechanism for science and technology was established. The Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Health and Medical Commission and other 12 departments immediately formed a special working class, and established Academician Zhong Nanshan as a group A long group of experts, organized to mobilize the country's superior scientific and technological forces to carry out research.

There are five main research directions for scientific and technological research, which are optimization of clinical treatment programs and drug screening, detection technology and products, viral etiology and epidemiology, vaccine development, and animal model construction. Progress has been made.

Viral pathogens and epidemiology also preliminarily ruled out the relationship between the source of new crown pneumonia and known poultry and livestock, and proposed that bats are the most likely source of new crown pneumonia; in animal models, mice with new crown pneumonia infection have been successfully constructed, Animal models such as monkeys provide basic conditions for the safety and effectiveness evaluation of drugs and vaccines.

In terms of detection and diagnosis, on the basis of 7 diagnostic and testing reagents approved for marketing, it is accelerating the development and application of on-site rapid detection products; in terms of drug development and clinical treatment, some drug screening and treatment programs have made positive progress. , Clinical trials are being promoted, and some clinical treatment recommendations have been incorporated into the diagnosis and treatment plan; in terms of vaccine research and development, parallel research and development of multiple technical routes such as inactivated vaccines, nucleic acid vaccines, and recombinant vaccines have been carried out.

To strengthen the management of laboratories, especially viruses

Wu Yuanbin said that in order to promote the national emergency science and technology research in an efficient and orderly manner, the "Notice on Strengthening the Management of New Crown Pneumonia Science and Technology Research" was specially issued to guide scientific and technological personnel to carry forward the spirit of scientists and carry heavy burdens. Apply research results to defeat the epidemic.

At the same time, the "Guiding Opinions on Strengthening the Biosafety Management of High-level Virus Microbial Laboratories of New Crown Virus" was issued, requiring laboratories to play a platform role to serve the needs of scientific and technological research, and all competent authorities should strengthen the management of laboratories, especially viruses. Ensure biosecurity.

In addition, in scientific and technological research, we emphasize both special affairs and special affairs, as well as legal compliance, and strengthen ethical review and informed consent of related research.

"Next, we will continue to focus on the main direction of scientific research, advance by the day, and accelerate the application of results in actual combat." Wu Yuanbin said.

Spotlight 1. 3 drugs have initially shown good results

The development of effective clinical treatment drugs has become a top priority. According to Zhang Xinmin, director of the Biological Center of the Ministry of Science and Technology, since the establishment of the scientific research group, a scientific research team has been organized to screen more than 70,000 drugs or compounds using methods such as computer simulation screening and in vitro enzyme activity testing, and selected 5,000 potentially effective drug candidates. Initial screening was performed at the level of common coronavirus-infected cells, and then about 100 drugs were selected to carry out new coronavirus activity experiments in vivo.

Zhang Xinmin revealed that on the basis of multiple rounds of screening, the scientific research group focused on a few drugs, such as chloroquine phosphate, rendesivir (redexivir), and fapilavir. Some drugs have initially shown good clinical efficacy.

Among them, chloroquine phosphate is an antimalarial drug that has been on the market for many years. In vitro experiments have shown that it has a good inhibitory effect on the new coronavirus. Currently, it is conducting clinical research in more than ten hospitals, including Beijing and Guangdong, and has accumulated more than 100 patients. In the near future, Hunan Province will also start a multi-center clinical trial of chloroquine phosphate. The clinical results show that chloroquine phosphate has a certain effect on the diagnosis and treatment of new coronary pneumonia.

Difapivir is an overseas marketed drug for the treatment of influenza. Currently in clinical trials in Shenzhen, more than 70 patients (including the control group) have been enrolled. It has initially shown obvious efficacy and lower adverse reactions. From 3 to 4 days after treatment, the viral nucleic acid conversion rate in the treatment group was significantly higher than that in the control group.

The in vitro experiments of Cilendivir showed that it has a better inhibitory effect and safety on the new crown virus. The drug has also achieved successful treatment for one patient in the United States. At present, more than a dozen medical institutions in Wuhan are conducting clinical research and have enrolled 168 critically ill patients and 17 light and ordinary patients.

In the treatment of critically ill patients, some products and technologies have achieved good clinical results, including collecting recovery patients' plasma for treatment of critically ill patients, and stem cell technology.

Spotlight 2. Some vaccines enter animal testing stage

As we all know, vaccines are one of the most powerful means to prevent and control infectious diseases. Zhang Xinmin said that because the new crown virus is a new pathogen, vaccine development is difficult and the cycle is relatively long. To ensure early research and development success, a number of technical routes have been arranged in parallel in scientific research emergency projects, including inactivated vaccines, MRNA vaccines, recombinant protein vaccines, viral vector vaccines, and DNA vaccines, etc.

He said that some vaccine varieties have entered the animal test stage. From the current point of view, the research and development progress of our national research teams has basically kept pace with international progress.

Yan Jinghua, a researcher at the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, is working on a recombinant protein vaccine. According to her, a recombinant protein vaccine is to take out the most effective antigen component gene of a pathogen, perform in vitro recombination, express the protein, and then make a vaccine.

"Our team has done MERS vaccine research and development in the past two years and achieved some good results in the vaccine design process. After the new crown virus came, we quickly applied this strategy and method to the design of the new crown virus vaccine. We have now completed the design With this vaccine, it has now been tested in animals to see the immune effect and safety evaluation. "She said that in order to get the vaccine to market soon, researchers have turned the R & D cycle into a parallel mode, and many trials are progressing simultaneously. In the past, it was a cascading method. For example, after the end of one experiment to see the results, the second experiment was performed.

Zhang Xinmin emphasized that as a special product applied to healthy people, the safety requirements of vaccines are first and foremost. The research and development of vaccines must follow scientific laws and strict management practices, and scientific researchers must be given some time to develop safety Effective vaccine products.

Spotlight 3. Is further studying the transmission path of new crown virus

Prion traceability is very important to reveal the source of the virus and its evolution, eliminate the source of the epidemic, and prevent the spread of the epidemic. Wu Yuanbin introduced that the research project on the origin and transmission path of the new crown virus was jointly carried out by the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention detected 585 environmental specimens and animal specimens from the South China Seafood Market and many fresh markets in Wuhan, of which 33 were positive for Newcomer Virus, and 31 of them were from the Western District, which operates wild animals. The outbreak may be related to wildlife trade. The team of the China Animal Health and Epidemiology Center tested more than 4,800 animal samples collected from pigs, poultry, dogs, and cats in recent years, all of which were negative. Based on this result, the new type of coronavirus originated from poultry and livestock can be initially excluded. Previously, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences has shown that bats are most likely to be the natural host of the coronavirus through alignment of the genome of the coronavirus.

In terms of prion transmission routes, research has found that the main transmission routes of new crown virus are respiratory and contact transmission. Recently, Academician Zhong Nanshan and Academician Li Lanjuan's team detected and isolated the new crown virus from the stool of patients with new crown pneumonia. Wu Yuanbin said that despite this, there is no evidence that it can be transmitted through the fecal-oral route and aerosols, and further investigation and research by virological and epidemiological experts are being organized for new transmission routes.

Recently, a South China Agricultural University team research suggested that pangolin may be one of the intermediate hosts of the new crown virus. Wu Yuanbin responded that relevant scientific research teams are being organized to demonstrate this, and the transmission of new crown virus from pangolins to humans is also being further stepped up. Once new progress is made, it will be announced in time.

Source from chemmade