Hubei announces technological progress in fighting novel coronavirus
By Guo Meiping

The diagnosis and treatment drugs are regarded as an important direction in tackling the current novel coronavirus outbreak, relevant progress has been made, Wang Wei, director of Hubei's Science and Technology Department, said during a press conference Sunday. 

According to the official, six biotech companies in Wuhan have developed detection products for the novel coronavirus up to now. Wang told the press that products from two of the companies were approved by the National Medical Product Administration on January 26, and the other four companies are submitting their products for approval. 

In terms of research on animal traceability, Wang said, the new coronavirus uses the same cells as the SARS coronavirus to enter the receptor. 

"Research has shown that the novel coronavirus shares up to 96 percent of the same viral sequence with one type of bat," Wang said. 

The official said that experiments on infection of rodents and primates with the virus have been carried out, and models of infection in sensitive animals have been established. 

"(These experiments) have accelerated the screening for antiviral drugs, the development of vaccines and provided support for the discovery of pathogenic mechanism," he said. 

According to Wang, three therapeutic drugs have been screened out, which are effective in inhibiting the replication of the novel coronavirus on cell surface. 

"Their effects on humans have yet to be tested clinically," Wang said. 

(Top image via VCG)