Taiwan research team successfully replicates COVID-19 antiviral drug
Two research teams from Taiwan have become successful in synthesizing remdesivir which is an experimental medication that has been believed to be effective in fighting the deadly COVID-19 that killed more than 2,000 people since it was discovered back in December of last year.
An assistant research fellow at the Institute of Chemistry at Academia Sinica, Chein Rong-jie, said at a press event last Friday that his team, composed of seven members, completed the synthesis of more than 100 milligrams of remdesivir within two weeks. The level of purity is 97 percent.
The researcher said that their research team was asked by Academia Sinica President James Liao to recreate the drug last Feb. 6 in a bid to search for possible coronavirus remedies. This was after it was believed that it has the potential to fight the said disease.
Chein recounted that they started the experiment from nothing because they had difficulty in searching for raw materials. However, they made sure that the steps laid out by the American company that developed the said novel antiviral drug were followed.
The team, however, still needs the developer’s authorization to mass-produce the said drug, despite the synthesis. Chein added that the production of the drug would have to start from a quantity of at least 100 grams.
The success of the experiment, according to Liao, reflects the ability of Academia Sinica in synthesizing medications. Also, their team could help in mass-producing the said drug via technical transfer.
Chein further said that their team is now going to synthesize other possible medications against COVID-19.
Last Thursday, the National Health Research Institutes (NHRI), which is a non-profit government-run organization, said it was successful in synthesizing more than one milligram of remdesivir at a 97 percent level of purity.
It can be remembered that the said drug made it possible for the first infected patient in the United States to fully recover.