A research team at the Henan Normal University told media that they are trying to release in the domestic market an oral COVID-19 drug as soon as December.
The drug named Azvudine is currently under phase III clinical trials in the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University in Zhengzhou, capital of Central China's Henan Province, news outlet The Paper reported on Tuesday.
Phase III clinical trials on the drug are also currently taking place in Brazil and Russia.
Azvudine is anti-HIV drug which acts as a reverse transcriptase inhibitor. In relation with the novel coronavirus, the drug also shows good antiviral activity at cellular and animal level, according to The Paper.
In July, an anti-HIV Azvudine pill developed by researchers at the Henan Normal University was approved for domestic market.
By far, China has deployed three technical routes in developing COVID-specific drugs: blocking virus entry into cells, inhibiting virus replication and adjusting the human immune system. The three approaches have their respective advantages and strategies in dealing with the coronavirus.
In recent days, many drug manufacturers have revealed their progress in COVID-19 drugs research and development.
The VV116, an oral anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleoside candidate jointly developed by the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (SIMM) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, is going to be evaluated in a clinical study to treat COVID-19, media reported on Sunday.
A neutralizing monoclonal antibody combination therapy jointly developed by Tsinghua University, the Third People's Hospital of Shenzhen and Brii Biosciences, a company that has headquarters in China and the US, is also expected to get approval for market use in December. It is also likely to be the first to receive emergency use authorization in developed countries such as the US.