A biotechnology startup in Fukuoka Prefecture announced last Tuesday that it will start human clinical trials for drug to treat COVID-19 in 2021.

72 candidates for nucleic acid medicines have been developed by Bonac Corp., which is based in Kurume. Fukuoka Prefecture. This development have been tested their effectiveness against respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus in a joint research with the Fukuoka Institute of Health and Environmental Sciences since June. Which is 10 of the candidates have proved their effectiveness significantly in reducing the replication of the virus for COVID-19. From 10 candidates, the research team has reduced the number by 3 that are said to be highly stable in the human body and can be effective even in small quantities.

After thorough selection through nonclinical trials, one of them will be in clinical trials next year involving human subjects.

The said drug may also be developed as treatment for the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), both of which are similar to COVID-19 and still have no treatments, Bonac said.

source: Japan Times