Taiwan scientist leads research on anti-coronavirus medication remdesivir

Taiwan government wants to import drug that is candidate for cure to Wuhan coronavirus

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/02/06
By: Ching-Tse Cheng, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Taiwanese scientist Taiyin Yang heads research into remdesivir. (Gilead Sciences photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Centers of Disease Control (CDC) said Thursday (Feb. 6) the country is actively seeking to import remdesivir, an experimental drug believed to have the potential to cure the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

During a press conference, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said remdesivir will not be given to coronavirus patients in Taiwan unless its effectiveness has been supported by scientific research. He then went on to say the Taiwanese government has filed a request to the pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, developer of the antiviral drug, to leave a supply for Taiwan, reported Liberty Times.

According to Initium Media, an infusion of remdesivir was given to the first confirmed 2019-nCoV case in the U.S., who showed great progress just four days after treatment. Though it has not yet been confirmed that remdesivir can help patients outside of the lab, international experts are hoping the antiviral drug can help contain the deadly virus.

Originally developed by Gilead Sciences as a treatment for Ebola, remdesivir has the ability to block protein activities that help the coronavirus create copies of itself. Pre-clinical testing in animal models from the past showed that remdesivir was effective against both Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).    [FULL  STORY]

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