During a two-day online conference earlier this week jointly sponsored by the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) and the Chinese Association of Chest Physicians, the Chinese physicians and scientists shared some important findings with their US counterparts.
"We want to share our success and failures," said Dr. Bin Cao, a respiratory expert and vice president of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital (CJFH) in Beijing, who attended the online seminars with some other Chinese experts, including Chen Wang, president of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and president of the Chinese Association of Chest Physicians (CACP), and Qingyuan Zhan, chief of Medical ICU at CJFH and chair of the CACP's Critical Care Committee.
"China has a three-month head-start on the frontlines of the outbreak and has amassed enormous amounts of valuable data to share," Cao said.
One of thousands of Chinese physicians and scientists, who have been working around the clock to seek potential Covid-19 treatment and develop drug therapies since the outbreak of the epidemic, Cao and Zhan have served on the frontlines in the Chinese city of Wuhan and are now leading clinical trials of key anti-viral drugs used to effectively treat patients in China.
China has been engaged in important clinical trials on a host of anti-viral drugs they used to treat Covid-19 patients, such as Remdesivir, Lopinavir/Ritonavir, Favipiravir, Ribavirin, Galidesivir, Hydroxychloroquine, Chloroquine, and Medrol, among others, Cao said.
These trials ensure that the drugs they give to patients will be effective in treating the disease and helping them recover.
Lopinavir/Ritonavir, a protease inhibitor, and Remdesivir, a nucleotide analogue, appear to be among the most effective and were found to have significantly better outcomes in a shorter time than the control groups, Chinese experts said at the conference.
According to their exchange via the online conference, another promising treatment involves using "humanized antibodies" to help prevent the virus from invading host cells. "Humanized antibodies" are from animal species whose proteins have been modified to increase their similarity to human antibodies so they can be effective in humans too.
Since the virus needs to convert "negative" genetic material into "positive" genetic material in order to replicate itself in the host cell, drug therapies like Meplazumab also seem effective in reducing the virus' ability to convert and reproduce.
China also advocated the efficacy of certain traditional Chinese medicine treatments, such as Lianhuan-Qingwen, to lessen symptoms, as well as the older, tried and true technique of using convalescent plasma to treat some patients. Convalescent plasma is the liquid part of blood that has viral antibodies present in the plasma that can help ward off infection.
Dr. Chris Carol, professor of pediatric critical care at the University of Connecticut Hartford and head of the CHEST Critical Care Network moderated the online seminar."Their presentation has been enormously helpful to us all -- it can help prepare us to treat Covid-19 patients more effectively in the US ," Carol said, referring to the Chinese guest speaker physicians.