Cuba manufactured its first interferon in 1981 and was used in the treatment of the haemorrhagic dengue epidemic in Cuba the same year. The country later manufactured ‘recombinant’ human interferon Alfa-2B in 1986.
Three months into the pandemic, it is still unclear which drug can successfully combat the disease. While studies are on, and different countries try various combinations to treat its patients, the WHO recently launched a multicountry clinical trial to test four drug combinations that have yielded results – n experimental antiviral drug called remdesivir, the antimalarial drug chloroquine (or the related hydroxychloroquine), a combination of two HIV drugs, and those same two HIV drugs along with the anti-inflammatory interferon beta.
Cuban Drugs has been selected along with 30 other drugs to treat COVID-19 by China’s National Health Commission. The World Health Organization will be studying interferon-beta, along with three other drugs, to determine their effectiveness against the new coronavirus.
What are the Interferons
Interferons are proteins that are part of our body’s natural defence systems, and draw their name from the word ‘interfere’’ because they interfere with viruses and prevent them from multiplying. According to WebMD, there are three types of interferons. Cells that have been infected with viruses or other germs give off interferon-alpha and interferon-beta as a warning signal to your immune system.
Currently, Cuba has mobilized its medical corps around the world to distribute a new “wonder drug” that officials there say is capable of treating the new coronavirus despite the United States’ strict sanctions that continue to pressure the communist-run island.
The drug, called Interferon Alpha-2B Recombinant (IFNrec), is jointly developed by scientists from Cuba and China, where the coronavirus COVID-19 disease outbreak first emerged late last year. Already active in China since January, the Cuban Medical Brigades began deploying to dozens of nations, providing personnel and products such as its new anti-viral drug to battle the disease that has exceeded 400,000 confirmed cases across the globe. As of Tuesday, over 100,000 people have recovered from the infection and more than 18,000 have died.
Interferon Alpha-2B Recombinant (IFNrec)
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