(Yicai Global) Feb. 13 -- Researchers in Shanghai have isolated four strains of the Covid-19 novel coronavirus, which will provide important conditions for the screening and evaluation of antiviral drugs, a top Chinese researcher said today, shedding light on the city's ongoing efforts to tackle the epidemic in China.
The strains were successfully isolated by the Fudan University Medical Molecular Virology Laboratory and two P3 laboratories of the Shanghai Centers for Disease Control, Chen Kaixian, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said at a press conference.
The Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica at the CAS and the Shanghai Pharmaceutical Group have jointly launched a clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of novel coronavirus pneumonia at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, Chen said.
The institute has also miniaturized in vitro evaluation model of the virus, completed the preliminary screening of 40,000 samples, and released a list of 30 potential anti-novel coronavirus compounds, which will effectively stimulate the development of cures, he added.
Meanwhile, Shanghai-based biotech company Stemirna Therapeutics has worked with Oriental Hospital on the research and development of mRNA candidate vaccines. The first batch of samples was recently delivered to relevant national departments for drug efficacy experiments, according to Lu Min, chief engineer of the Shanghai Science and Technology Committee.
Three qualified Shanghai-based companies had provided Covid-19 nucleic acid test kits for 2.32 million people as of Feb. 11, Lu added, referring to the city's continued battle against the virus.
With regards to artificial intelligence and other new tech applications, Yitu Technology has developed a new image evaluation system for Covid-19, which has been used in Shanghai, Beijing, and Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, as well as other places to improve the screening efficiency.
The Shanghai government is also actively easing the burden on innovative and entrepreneurial companies, which can collectively save them over CNY500 million (USD71.6 million) in rent every month.
Editor: Peter Thomas