How are new crown drugs and vaccines progressing? The scientists came to answer the question.

The Joint Defense and Control Mechanism of the State Council held a press conference in Beijing on February 15 at 15 o’clock, Wu Yuanbin, Director of the Department of Social Development Science and Technology of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Zhang Xinmin, Director of the China Biotechnology Development Center of the Ministry of Science and Technology, member of the Party Group of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Deputy Secretary-General, Zhou Qi, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, introduced the latest progress of drug research and development and scientific research. Here are the highlights we’ve compiled based on the press conference.

Five directions, go hand in hand

In response to the new crown outbreak, the Chinese scientific community is fully responding to the

Reporters learned at the press conference, January 20, the State Council joint defense and control mechanism of science and technology research group was established, the Ministry of Science and Technology will work with the National Health and Reform Commission and other 12 departments immediately formed a special class, and set up a group of experts headed by Zhong Nanshan academician, organized to mobilize the national advantage of scientific and technological forces to carry out the attack.

According to the emergency needs of new coronapneumonia, around the “traceable, diagnostic, treatable, preventable” prevention and control needs, the optimization of clinical treatment programs and drug screening, detection technology and products, viral pathogens and epidemiology, vaccine research and development, animal model construction of these five main directions.

Phased progress has been made:

– In terms of viral pathogens and epidemiology, the relationship between the source of neo-conorta and known poultry and livestock was initially excluded, and it was suggested that bats were the most likely source of neo-coronavirus.

-In animal models, animal models of mice and monkeys infected with new coronary pneumonia have been successfully constructed, providing the basis for the safety and effectiveness evaluation of drugs and vaccines.

-In terms of testing and diagnosis, the development and application of rapid on-site testing products are being accelerated on the basis of the approval of seven diagnostic testing reagents.

– In drug research and development and clinical treatment, some drug screening and treatment options have made positive progress and clinical trials are being advanced, with some clinical recommendations already incorporated into the treatment programme.

-In vaccine research and development, parallel research and development of inactivated vaccines, nucleic acid vaccines, recombinant vaccines and other technical routes has been carried out.

Q: Clinical treatment drugs, have you?

A: A batch of drugs has shown good clinical efficacy.

For the outbreak of the new coronavirus outbreak, research and development of effective clinical treatment drugs, and strive to improve the cure rate, reduce the fatality rate, is the current emergency response to the top priority.

Zhang Xinmin introduced that the scientific research team has organized a national excellent scientific research team, using computer simulation screening, in vitro enzyme activity testing and other methods to screen more than 70,000 drugs or compounds, the selection of 5,000 potentially effective candidate drugs, in the normal coronary virus infection at the cellular level of the initial screening, After the selection of about 100 drugs in the body to carry out the activity of the new coronavirus experiment.

On the basis of multiple rounds of screening, the research team focused on a few drugs: chloroquine phosphate, lundisivir, fabiraze and other drugs, has carried out clinical trials, some drugs have been initially shown good clinical efficacy.

Chlorpyrifos phosphate: is a long-listed antimalarial drug, the safety of a certain guarantee, in vitro experiments show that the new coronavirus has a good inhibitory effect. Clinical results show that chloroquine phosphate has a certain therapeutic effect on neo-coronary pneumonia.

Fabiriver: Is the treatment of influenza of foreign drugs, currently in Shenzhen clinical trials, the initial results of the more obvious efficacy and lower adverse reactions. On the 3rd to 4th days after treatment, the viral nucleic acid transposini rate in the drug group was significantly higher than that of the control group.

Lundisivir (Redsywe): This is a drug developed by a foreign company for anti-Ebola virus infection, and the clinical trials abroad are not yet complete. Chinese scientists carried out in vitro experiments showed that it has better inhibition and safety of the new coronavirus. At present, more than ten medical institutions in Wuhan are carrying out clinical research, has been enrolled in the group of serious patients 168 cases, light, ordinary patients 17 cases.

Q: The terrible “inflammatory storm”, is there a countermeasure?

A: Some clinical results are ‘encouraging’ and further trials are under way

Zhou Qi introduced, “inflammation storm” is actually a light disease to critical and critical conversion of an important node, it is actually a cytokine over-reaction, mainly the human immune system for the outside world of the virus and the cause of infection “no enemy me”, the overreaction caused by the damage to their own.

How do I block or suppress an “inflammatory storm”? Zhou Qi introduced, in this regard, scientists are also screening some of the old drugs, such as in the field of rheumatism effective drugs, some of the clinical. For example, the First Affiliated Hospital of the University of Science and Technology of China has made 14 cases of critically and critically ill patients, aged 82, and the results of these cases seem encouraging. Now a multi-center randomized controlled trial is being conducted, with about 100 patients enrolled in the group, including 94 in the treatment group and 94 in the control group. If proven effective, it will be applied as soon as possible.

In addition, recent work on inflammatory factor storms is ongoing, and it is believed that more candidate drugs will enter the treatment sequence.

Q: Reducing mortality, is it currently effective treatment for severe illness?

A: Recovery plasma and stem cell technology is well-known.

Zhang Xinmin introduced that effective treatment for patients with severe illness is a key way to reduce the mortality rate. The research team organized new technology and new product research for the treatment of severe diseases, and from the present point of view some products and technologies have achieved good clinical results.

One is to collect plasma from the recovery period of the cured patient. There are a large number of protective antibodies in the plasma of patients in recovery period, which can be used in the treatment of patients with severe illness. Up to now, in Wuhan Jiangxia District First People’s Hospital, Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital and other hospitals for a total of 11 serious patients were treated, after treatment clinical symptoms significantly improved, the detection indicators are all-round good, there are no obvious adverse reactions.

The second aspect is to carry out clinical research on the treatment of severe diseases in stem cell technology. Stem cell therapy can suppress overactivation of the immune system, promote endogenous repair by improving the microenvironment, inhibit the progression of acute inflammation in the lungs and relieve respiratory distress symptoms. After strict preclinical safety, effectiveness evaluation, as well as strict quality verification, stem cell products in accordance with the current clinical application norms of stem cells and drug clinical trial regulations on the premise of a number of patients with serious illness treatment, but also initially shown to be safe and effective.

Q: How’s the vaccine developing?

A: It’s going to go on in the long run, and some vaccine varieties are already in the animal trial phase.

“We are now conducting wall-chart warfare, with each working node accurate to the sky. Zhang Xinmin introduced that in order to ensure the early success of research and development, we have arranged a number of technical routes in parallel in the scientific research emergency project, including inactivated vaccine, mRNA vaccine, recombinant protein vaccine, viral vector vaccine, DNA vaccine and other parallel promotion, to ensure the success rate.

Zhang Xinmin said that the research and development progress of our country’s research teams has basically kept pace with international progress. This is due to the “major infectious disease prevention and control”, “major new drug creation” and other major national special support, in the past ten years China has made great progress in capacity-building to deal with new outbreaks of infectious diseases, mastered the most advanced technology of vaccine research and development, with a high-level research and development team and vaccine production enterprises. At the same time, we actively advocate international cooperation.

Yan Jinghua, a researcher at the Institute of Microbiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that various vaccines have their own characteristics, advantages and disadvantages, and they are complementary. For example, the recombinant protein vaccine, is the most effective antigen gene of a pathogen out, in vitro recombination, expression of protein, and then made into a vaccine. The vaccine is progressing very well, the current vaccine design has been completed, has now been tested in animals to see the immune effect, but also to carry out a safety evaluation. Production process development is also being carried out simultaneously.

Yan Jinghua specifically mentioned that the coronavirus vaccine in the world has not yet a vaccine on the market. This means that we are inexperienced and lack risk assessment, so the new corona vaccine is a challenge for researchers. “To fully demonstrate the risks and benefits, safety is a top priority because vaccines are used in healthy people and must be safe and effective.” “

Q: Has the virus’s source found?

A: Preliminary exclusion of poultry and livestock, bats are currently the most suspected.

Wu Yuanbin said that the research project on the traceability and transmission path of the new coronavirus was jointly carried out by the Cdc, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. The China Center for Disease Control and Prevention virus tested 585 environmental and animal specimens from the South China Seafood Market and Wuhan Fresh Market, 33 of which were positive for the new coronavirus, 31 of which came from the West End, which operates wild animals, and this concentrated data suggests that the outbreak may be related to wildlife transactions. For example, the team of the China Animal Health and Epidemiology Center tested more than 4,800 samples of pigs, poultry, dogs and cats collected in recent years, all of which were negative, and the results could be used to initially rule out the new coronavirus originating from poultry and livestock. This follows a comparison of the genome sequence of the new coronavirus by the Wuhan Virus Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which also showed that bats are most likely the natural hosts of the new coronavirus.

For some studies, pangolins may be one of the intermediate hosts of the new coronavirus. In this regard, is organizing the relevant scientific research team to demonstrate, the spread of the new coronavirus from pangolin to human and other issues, but also to further step up related research, if there is progress will be released in a timely manner.

Q: Why is drug development so difficult?

A: There are many objective requirements, scientific standards can not be reduced

Over the years, it took about a decade for a new drug to go from imagination to a drug. Why did it take so long? Zhou Qi said that the emergence of new drugs have objective limitations, but also have its time requirements, but also have key processes and procedures. First, to know what the main target for treating a disease is, is targeted, to know what to cure. Second, when the drug target is identified, to select all the candidate compounds and candidate drugs, not every drug can be prescribed, but also through the drug’s various drugs related to the test. After the successful development of the drug, it should also evaluate its safety and effectiveness. It is important to do a lot of long-term evaluation of animal models before you can go to clinical.

In any of these areas, it is a very difficult process for scientists. “We’re dealing with pneumonia caused by coronavirus today, and we’re all looking forward to a new drug. But the scientific thing is ambiguous, science can not lower the standard, must follow the scientific drug research and development process to complete it. Zhou Qi said.