China, US develop new MERS treatment

Beijing: Chinese and the US scientists have jointly developed a new antibody targeting the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, which has killed 16 people so far in South Korea and landed 150 others in hospital.

The disease, which has caused havoc in South Korea and South Arabia, has no proven cure so far.

Fudan University, which worked with US National Institutes of Health to develop the antibody, on Monday, said the tests on animals had seen “very effective” results.

Jiang Shibo, who led the research team at Fudan, said the m336 antibody could neutralise MERS virus more effectively than other antibodies.

Zhong Nanshan, a renowned respiratory expert, called for an immediate clinical trial.

The m336 antibody treatment has proved more effective when coupled with a specific type of polypeptide, according to Jiang.

China is currently treating one person with MERS who contracted it in South Korea.

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