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COVID-19: New drug candidates, treatments offer reasons for hope

Medical News Today
the University of California San Francisco
Ruttonjee Hospital
University of Hong KongIn
the United States Food and Drug Administration
the National Institute of Allergy
University College London
the European Union
Public Health England

Nevan J. Krogan
Jenny Lo
Kwok-Yung Yuen
Anthony Fauci
Derek Hill
Frank Grosveld
Sigrun SmolaIn


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The New York Times
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Stay informed with live updates on the current COVID-19 outbreak and visit our coronavirus hub for more advice on prevention and treatment.A team of Chinese-based researchers found a new candidate drug against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. These researchers used a special technique that helped them map all the human proteins that the new coronavirus needs to interact with to survive.Next, the team looked at existing drugs that already target these proteins — be they FDA-approved or drugs that are in clinical or preclinical stages. “These findings suggest that interferon beta 1-b may be a key component of the combination treatment and is worth further investigation for the treatment of COVID-19”, comments study co-author Dr. Jenny Lo from Ruttonjee Hospital in Hong Kong.“Our trial demonstrates that early treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 with a triple combination of antiviral drugs may rapidly suppress the amount of virus in a patient’s body, relieve symptoms, and reduce the risk to healthcare workers by reducing the duration and quantity of viral shedding (when the virus is detectable and potentially transmissible).”— Lead researcher Prof. The technique prevents numerous unnecessary individual tests, and, as the authors of the new study note, it is particularly useful when “large numbers of asymptomatic people need to be screened.” In the study, the sensitivity of the initial group test allowed the researchers to combine as many as 30 samples from 30 individuals in a single test tube.“Even if only one person in that group of 30 was infected, we still obtained a positive result for the pooled test. Smola and colleagues, the scientists show how their approach prevented over 900 unnecessary tests.For live updates on the latest developments regarding the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, click here.In this Special Feature, we look at the recent progress that scientists have made against SARS-CoV-2, including vaccine trials and antibody testing.We round up some of the research on COVID-19 that has emerged recently and produced results that may hopefully help tackle the global pandemic.A SARS-CoV-2 vaccine may be available by the fall, an Ebola drug shows further promise, and an app could help create intelligent physical distancing.We look at the impact of physical distancing measures, as well as at researchers' efforts to devise and test new vaccines or repurpose existing drugs.From birth control accessibility to abortion rights, we take a look at some of the ways in which the current pandemic has affected women.

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