31 Jul 2009 12:34

China develops innovative antiviral drug

Shanghai. July 31. INTERFAX-CHINA - China has successfully developed a patented antiviral drug to treat respiratory infections, state media reported on July 31.

According to Xinhua news agency, the innovative drug is an arbidol analogue compound developed by Dr. Yang Zhanqiu, head of Wuhan University's virology institute, which has been proven effective in animal tests against the Hantaan virus and influenza A (H1N1) virus. It was awarded a patent by the State Intellectual Property Office in October 2005.

According to the report, the drug will enter human clinical trial soon in Wuhan City, capital of Hebei Province, and is expected to be launched on the market in two years' time.

"Chinese medical experts have been hoping to find alternative drugs to replace Tamiflu, the World Health Organization-recommended drug for the treatment of A/H1N1 flu. I expect this new drug may break Tamiflu's monopoly in the A/H1N1 flu market once it is launched," Dr. Karl Lee, a drug researcher with Zhongshan Hospital, told Interfax.