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China batch-produces SARS reagent
Updated: 2004-11-23 13:31

China began to batch-produce a new gene-based reagent capable of quickly diagnosing severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) Monday.

At a news briefing, Wang Shushan, deputy director of Henan Provincial Bureau of Science and Technology, said that the reagent has been approved for production and medical purposes by the State Food and Drug Administration.

According to Wang, China holds full intellectual property rights for the new drug, which was jointly developed by Henan Provincial Bio-Engineering Technology Research Center, the Virus Diseases Prevention and Control Institute with the China Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Huamei Bio-Engineering Company.

"The reagent serves as an efficient tool to control any major public health crises," said Wang.

Wang Yunlong, a specialist who participated in the development of the reagent, said that the reagent can monitor 50 variations of the SARS virus under any condition.

Apart from clinical diagnosis and virus monitoring, the reagent can also be used to assess the effect of vaccines, clinical blood tests, surveys of epidemics, effect of medicines taken by SARS patients, according to the specialist.

The SARS reagent will hit the market soon.

China was seriously hit by an outbreak of SARS in 2003, when 5,327 SARS cases were reported on the Chinese mainland. Nearly 5,000 patients were cured and discharged from hospital, but the death toll from the disease in China stood at 349.

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