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Chinese oral COVID-19 drug effective against Omicron variant: study

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-05-18 21:01
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BEIJING - Scientists have found in a study that China's oral COVID-19 nucleoside drug VV116 can shorten the viral shedding time by two to three days in the treatment of patients infected with the Omicron variant of the virus.

The researchers from Fudan University conducted an open, prospective cohort study to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of VV116 in 136 patients hospitalized with the Omicron variant from March 8 to 24.

Among the participants who received standard treatment, 60 patients received VV116 and 76 patients did not, according to the study published on Wednesday in the journal Emerging Microbes & Infections.

The researchers found that those in the treatment group, who received VV116 within 5 days of their first positive test, had an average viral shedding time of 8.56 days, while those in the control group had an average time of 11.13 days, according to the study.

It also reported a total of nine mild adverse events in the VV116 group, seven of which were mild liver function abnormalities. All events were resolved without intervention.

VV116 is a safe, effective oral antiviral drug, showing an improved performance during the early onset of Omicron infection, the researchers said.

VV116 has commenced global trials in moderate and severe COVID-19 patients after it was proven to be safe and well-tolerated in tests involving healthy people.

Its developers include several institutes under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, as well as Shanghai Junshi Biosciences Co Ltd and Suzhou-based Vigonvita Life Sciences Co Ltd.

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