China, US develop new MERS treatment

Beijing, June 15 (IANS) Chinese and American scientists have jointly developed a new antibody targeting the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, which has claimed the lives of 16 people and infected 150 others in the recent outbreak in South Korea.

Shanghai’s Fudan University, which worked with US National Institutes of Health to develop the antibody, on Monday said tests on animals have seen “very effective” results, Xinhua news agency reported.

Jiang Shibo, who led the research team at Fudan, said the m336 antibody could neutralise MERS virus more effectively than other antibodies.

Zhong Nanshan, a renowned respiratory expert, called for an immediate clinical trial.

The m336 antibody treatment has proved more effective when coupled with a specific type of polypeptide, Jiang added.

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