An antiviral drug is being developed by Vietnamese researchers to help with the treatment of mild and moderate Covid-19 patients.
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The drug, called VIPDERVIR, is made of Vietnamese herbs that meet the standards of the Vietnamese Pharmacopoeia.
Results of the drug’s preclinical trial were released by the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology in an online press conference on Tuesday.
They showed VIPDERVIR can inhibit the growth of the SARS-CoV-2 virus when tested on animals.
A statement released by the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology said: “The drug’s acute and sub-acute toxicity were tested at the National Institute of Drug Quality Control and the Hanoi Medical University.
“Its ability to inhibit the growth of the H5N1 virus was tested at the Institute of Biotechnology, and that of the SARS-CoV-2 virus at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and Hanoi Medical University. The tests were done on rabbits.
“The results showed that VIPDERVIR is safe and effective in inhibiting the growth of the H5N1 and SARS-CoV-2 viruses, and in boosting immunity, when tested on animals.”
The research is being conducted by Associate Professor Le Quang Tuan (PhD) and his partners at the Vietnam Institute of Biotechnology in Hanoi.
It aimed to develop a herbal drug that can help to treat diseases caused by RNA viruses, especially the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The scientists’ proposal for a clinical trial of the drug on Covid-19 patients was approved by the Ministry of Health on August 7.
If successful, the drug will be licensed and used to treat mild and moderate Covid-19 cases, the ministry said.
It will be made into tablets at the Vietnam Chemico-Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Company in Hanoi, where its stability will also be tested and evaluated.
Evaluations from the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology after the pre-clinical research showed VIPDERVIR can prevent viruses from sticking to the host cell, making it impossible for the virus to enter the host cell.
It can also inhibit the ability of the virus to multiply in the cell, which means that the virus particles that have entered the host cell will also lose the ability to multiply.
It also activates immune cells so that they can recognise, block, and eliminate virus particles.