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Singapore to begin human trial of potential Covid-19 prophylactic

Jack Burton

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Singapore to begin human trial of potential Covid-19 prophylactic | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Straits Times
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A new drug, currently known as TY027, might be used to protect frontline healthcare workers against potential exposure to Covid-19, or travellers when they head to countries with high community transmission. Next week, 23 volunteers in Singapore will be involved in a clinical safety trial for the prophylactic antibody drug, which could be a viable treatment the disease that has already killed more than 400,000 around the globe.

The co-founder of Tychan, the biotech company behind the drug, told the media that if trials are successful, it could be used to render temporary protection against infection, as antibody drugs tend to be effective for about 2-3 weeks per dose. Using the drug to treat confirmed cases “could reduce a lot of problems we face right now,” such as the limited number of ventilators available at hospitals.

“One obvious thing is that a lot of the patients get sick for a very long time, and some of them even get very severe respiratory disease, so much so that you need oxygen ventilators to help them tie through this critical period, without which they would die. We hope this treatment will reduce the number of people who go into such a severe stage, and hopefully the number of people who die from Covid-19 can be kept to a minimum.”

But he noted that the eventual use of the drug, and who it will be administered to, will depend on the outcome of the Phase 1 clinical safety trial, which will take about 6 weeks. Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority granted approval for the trial on Monday. The trial, which will be conducted by SingHealth’s investigational medicine unit, will focus on evaluating the safety, tolerability and “pharmacokinetics,” the way the body reacts to the drug. If proven safe the drug will still have to undergo more tests before it can be used in real-life clinical settings, and that process could take months.

This is the first time an in-human trial for a Covid-19 treatment has been approved in Singapore. Presently, there is no proven antibody-based treatment for Covid-19, nor any licensed vaccine.

Tychan said in a statement that it produced the antibody on February 25, in partnership with Singpore’s Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Health, the Economic Development Board and other government agencies as part of a whole-of-government collaborative effort. The company then identified it as the most promising among several antibodies that demonstrated 100% neutralisation against Covid-19. Since then, preclinical safety studies and other regulatory requirements, including a 3 week stability test, have been completed successfully.

SOURCE: SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Kelvin

    Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 11:59 am

    the question is how is this stuff made

    seems like they are all rushing to market at the expense of man kind

    we need to know more before they let the genie out

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

PM to receive AstraZeneca vaccine on Sunday

Maya Taylor

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PM to receive AstraZeneca vaccine on Sunday | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

The Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha will receive the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine on Sunday, while Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul will receive the Chinese jab. According to a Bangkok Post report, Sopon Mekthon from the sub-committee on vaccine management says both politicians will receive their vaccines at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institute. On Monday, the vaccination of priority groups in specific provinces will get underway.

Speaking about the arrival of the long-awaited vaccines yesterday, Anutin said the first batch would be distributed free of charge, with costs covered by the government.

“The vaccines are for Thais and those living in the country. Anyone who charges for the vaccine will face legal action.”

Thailand has taken delivery of 200,000 doses of the Chinese Sinovac jab and 117,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The arrival of the AstraZeneca jab took many by surprise, with no mention of its imminent arrival, unlike the PR hoopla surrounding the arrival of its Chinese counterpart. Another 800,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine are expected next month, followed by a further 1 million in April. After that, the rest of Thailand’s vaccines will be from AstraZeneca, with 26 million locally-manufactured doses expected to be available from May to June and another 35 million after that.

Nakorn Premsri from the National Vaccine Institute says the AstraZeneca vaccines arrived this week as a result of a commitment by the pharmaceutical giant to ensure equal access to Covid-19 vaccines.

“The AstraZeneca vaccines that arrived in Thailand must receive a lot release certificate from the Department of Medical Sciences before distribution to priority groups designated by the Department of Disease Control.”

Meanwhile, Thares Karasnairaviwong from the Department of Health Service Support says over 1.5 million village health volunteers are educating local residents about the importance of vaccination and establishing how many people fall into the priority groups who will be first to be inoculated.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Foreign tourists must use Covid-19 tracking app when travelling to Thailand

Caitlin Ashworth

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Foreign tourists must use Covid-19 tracking app when travelling to Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Digital Government Development Agency

Foreign tourists travelling to Thailand will need to download the Covid-19 contact tracking mobile application “ThailandPlus” before arriving in Thailand and use it throughout their stay. The app will notify travellers if they have been in close contact with any confirmed cases.

Throughout their trip to Thailand, tourists will need to keep the app “on” and check in and out of various locations by scanning QR codes. The app requires access to the smartphone’s GPS , but the Tourism Authority of Thailand says the information collected will only be used for public health purposes and will not infringe on the tourists’ right to privacy.

Travellers will also need to upload a recent headshot as well as supply their Certificate of Entry number and reference ID from the Royal Thai Embassy.

The app is a spinoff to the “Thai Chana” and “Mor Chana” apps. All use GPS and Bluetooth as well as QR code scanning to detect the users’ locations. The apps sparked controversy and many Thais expressed concerns about their privacy, but the government has assured the public that information will be kept private.

The development of the app is a collaboration between the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Digital Government Development Agency.

Click HERE to download the ThailandPlus.

SOURCE: TAT

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Did the Covid-19 virus actually originate in Thailand? | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Did the Covid-19 virus actually originate in Thailand? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

South East Asia was the source of Covid-19, not China. Even more specifically, it came from Thailand… from the famous Chatuchak market, or, as quoted correctly “a market LIKE Chatuchak”.

That’s the claims of a Danish epidemiologist Thea Kolsen Fischer, who was on a recent World Health Organisation fact-finding mission to Wuhan to examine the origins of the latest coronavirus pandemic. The claims were printed in Denmark’s daily newspaper Politiken this week and have half left Thai officials flabbergasted.

The paper poses the question… was Chatuchak Market, or a similar were market in Bangkok like Chatuchak, indeed “the place that brought the coronavirus to Wuhan”.

Chatuchak market, for those unfamiliar with the tourist trap north of the main Bangkok city centre, is a market for just about everything. It’s also locally known as JJs. You can find cheap knock offs, souvenirs, hardware supplies, decor and lots and lots of animals, dead and alive.

Thailand’s Department of Disease Control held a media conference yesterday to refute the claims, claiming that it regularly tests animals at the market. The spokesperson also responded to an earlier news article by Russia’s Sputnik news agency suggesting that a similar strain of the novel coronavirus found in bats in Thailand appeared to resemble Sars-CoV-2… Covid-19.

Citing a new study published in Nature Communications, the Sputnik news agency claimed there are bats in Thailand with a virus, a coronavirus, that matches the one that causes Covid-19. Given the much-less-easy to remember code name RacCS203, the new virus was identified in the blood of five horseshoe bats that had been tested in an artificial cave at a wildlife sanctuary somewhere in eastern Thailand.

Researchers at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University have also conducted genomic sequencing on the virus and reportedly found that the virus shares 91.5% of the genetic code of Sars-CoV-2.

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