The Coronavirus has claimed over 203,000 lives and infected nearly three million people globally. While several researchers and biotech companies are trying to find a cure for the novel Coronavirus to treat COVID-19 patients, reports revealed that China filed a patent for the potential anti-viral drug that could be helpful to fight against SARS-CoV-2.
It should be noted that China filled the patent application on January 21, soon after they revealed that the new Coronavirus can be transferred from human to human. This revelation has sparked new speculations about China's understanding of the virus and fuelled new speculations that the country may have had an idea that the outbreak will turn into a pandemic.
China handling Coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan
Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus in Hubei's Wuhan many experts as well as politicians from all around the world have been criticising CCP for the way the country officials handled the outbreak and claimed that they have hidden initial facts about the virus from other nations. Chinese authority also faced accusations for suppressing data and silencing doctors who tried to reveal details about the outbreak at a very initial stage.
Recently, British Conservative Party politician, Tom Tugendhat who is also the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee said that "It is quite clear there is an awful lot that we don't know about the emergence of this disease and the responses to it. We all need to learn the lessons of the outbreak so the international community can respond better in the future."
However, the contagious nature of the Coronavirus was confirmed by China President Xi Jinping on January 20. But leaked documents showed that the government knew what they are facing still kept it a secret for six days from their own residents as well as other countries, and allowed Wuhan residents for a mass gathering.
Patent for potential Coronavirus drug
It should be noted that on January 21, a patent for commercial use of Remdesivir, a drug which was created to treat Ebola years ago, was filed in China. This application was made by country's Military Medicine Institute and the controversial Wuhan Institute of Virology, from where experts believe the virus escaped before targeting humans. On the other hand, the company which develops this potential COVID-19 drug, Gilead Sciences, said that they had filed its own global application for the use of Remdesivir against Coronavirus four years ago.
The US-based biotech company said that they knew about China's patent application but they had no influence over the decision. A spokesperson from the company stated that "Our focus at this time is on rapidly determining the potential for Remdesivir as a treatment for Covid-19 and accelerating manufacturing in anticipation of potential future supply needs."
Recently, the World Health Organization had accidentally posted details about Remdesivir clinical trial and then removed it. WHO later claimed that the draft report was mistakenly uploaded. The leaked report revealed that researchers studied 237 patients, providing the potential Coronavirus medication to 158 and comparing their progress with the remaining 79 trial candidates who received a placebo. Almost a month later, researchers noticed that 13.9 percent of the patients taking the Remdesivir died compared to 12.8 percent candidates who were receiving placebo and then they stopped the trial due to side effects of the drug.
However, the developers, Gilead argued that this study was stopped due to low patient enrolment and said results of a major US government trial would be released next month. It should be mentioned that the research is designed to show if the promising drug, when given to patients with a range of disease severity, improves outcomes such as length of hospital stay, need for mechanical ventilation and survival rates.