After animal experiments and toxicological tests, clinical studies with the Hungarian coronavirus drug could begin in early 2023, according to Imre Kacskovics, immunologist and dean of the Faculty of Science at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE).
“We have identified molecules that are new in the sense that we consider them patentable, and we were able to show in the summer that these molecules, these active substances, prevent the virus from infecting the cells,” said Kacskovics. Professor Ferenc Jakab proved this in Pécs. Animal studies are currently underway to see if it will protect them from infection and disease.
“We are very confident that these studies will be successful and that we will be able to select a molecule that we can bring to medical development.”
said the immunologist.
In the case of toxicological testing, it will be important to demonstrate not only that the medicine prevents infection, but also that it does not cause other diseases. Kacskovics estimates the toxicological phase at one year and promises thorough work, reports Infostart. He said anyone can get the medicine.
“It is similar to an antibody, it can be used as preventive medicine. By this we mean that if someone is not protected by vaccines, if they do not have an immune response to them, then their body can be protected by this drug. The protection sets in very quickly after 6-10 hours and can last for 3-4 months. “
Kacskovics added that it could be a complementary form of protection to existing vaccines for immunocompromised people, but also for healthy people “some of whom are not protected by the vaccine for one reason or another”.
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The drug is a large-molecule protein that is quite complicated to manufacture and can therefore only be manufactured in Hungary at Richter Gedeon Nyrt’s biotechnological facility. It will be available as an intravenous or nasal spray, but Kacskovics currently believes it’s more of a vaccine.
Selected image: Illustration via János Vajda / MTI