Vietnam Succeeds in Preparing Herbal COVID-19 Drug

Vietnamese scientists have announced the results of their research into a kind of herbal anti-coronavirus medicine, which has been approved for use in clinical trials on patients after successful animal tests.

The outcome of the research, conducted by Dr. Le Quang Huan and his associates at the Biological Technology Institute, was announced by the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology at a press conference on Tuesday.

The herbal-based research drug, named VIPDERVIR, has been created in the form of compressed tablets and is ready for production to serve COVID-19 patients, the conference was told.

VIPDERVIR’s acute toxicity and semi-permanent toxicity have been evaluated at the Central Institute of Drug Testing and Hanoi Medical University, while its inhibition of H5N1 and SARS-CoV-2 pathogens has been assessed at the Institute of Biotechnology and the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, respectively.

The drug has also been appraised for immunity enhancement at the Pharmacology Department of Hanoi Medical University.

Based on these evaluations, the research team has conducted trials of VIPDERVIR on rabbits and found that the drug is capable of preventing SARS-CoV-2 from sticking to host cells, making it impossible for the virus to enter the cells.

VIPDERVIR also inhibits the multiplication of the virus in host cells while activating immune cells so that they can recognize, block, and eliminate it.

The drug has been prepared, experimentally produced, and tested for stability at Vietnam Chemical Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Company.

The research results have proved that VIPDERVIR is safe and effective in impeding the development of SARS-CoV-2, as well as the H5N1 virus, the Academy of Science and Technology Vietnam said.

The herbal drug has also showed its immune-enhancing effect during the animal trials, the academy added.

Last Saturday, the health ministry’s ethics council approved a clinical study of the drug on COVID-19 patients being treated at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

After the paperwork is completed, the drug will be tested on mild and moderate COVID-19 patients, said the ministry.

The research outcome was announced in the context that Vietnam has recorded nearly 225,000 COVID-19 cases, including 3,757 deaths since the pandemic hit the country in early 2020, the ministry reported on Tuesday morning.

The news comes as Vietnam received good news when nearly 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were shipped to the country on the morning of August 10.

A batch of 494,400 AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine doses supplied under the Covax facility arrived at Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport Tuesday morning.

The batch has been transported to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology for storage.

With the latest arrival, global vaccine access mechanism Covax has given Vietnam 9.175 million Covid-19 vaccine doses. More than 5 million of these are Moderna vaccine doses and the rest are AstraZeneca.

Vietnam has inoculated nearly 10 million people with at least one vaccine shot. More than a million people have got two shots.

The country has so far received around 19 million Covid-19 vaccine doses from various makers, AstraZeneca accounting for most of them with 11.5 million doses.

Vietnam aims to achieve herd immunity by next year by vaccinating 70 percent of its 96 million population.

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