Medical staffers wearing protective clothing arrive with a coronavirus patient at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in the Chinese city on Saturday. | AFP-JIJI
China is using AbbVie Inc.’s HIV drugs as an ad-hoc treatment for pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus while the global search for a cure continues.
The Beijing branch of China’s National Health Commission said that a combination of lopinavir and ritonavir, sold under the brand name Kaletra by AbbVie, is part of its latest treatment plan for patients infected by the virus, which has killed at least 56 people in China and sickened more than 2,000 worldwide.
The NHC said that while there is not yet any effective anti-viral drug, it recommends patients be given two lopinavir and ritonavir tablets twice a day and a dose of alpha-interpheron through nebulization twice daily.
Medical journal Lancet said on Friday that a clinical trial is under way using ritonavir and lopinavir to treat cases of the new coronavirus.
In the meantime, China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention will start developing a vaccine, according to the Global Times.