Country for PR: China
Contributor: Xinhua News Agency
Thursday, November 04 2021 - 12:02
Sensational artemisinin-piperaquine for treatment of COVID-19 in prospect
GUANGZHOU, China, Nov. 3, 2021 /Xinhua-AsiaNet/--

Artequick artemisinin and piperaquine tablets have once again become buzzwords 
across the globe, as most recently, their effectiveness in treating COVID-19 
was hotly debated by live streamers on overseas social media and we media 
platforms. These drugs first came to the industry's attention after the 
International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents published a paper titled "Safety 
and Efficacy of Artemisinin-Piperaquine for Treatment of COVID-19".

As the fourth-generation artemisinin compound, artemisinin-piperaquine had been 
registered in dozens of countries, said Wang Xinhua, former president of 
Guangzhou Medical University, senior consultant at Guangdong New South 
Traditional Chinese Medicine Institute, and leading member of the group for 
artemisinin's clinical research and application in China, adding that for 
decades, it has been widely used as an effective cure for malaria, particularly 
falciparum malaria. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the devoted 
team of scientists has examined the compound's efficacy against the virus, and 
their breakthrough has unleashed a hot debate overseas. This implies how the 
scientific community and the general public are in desperate need of effective 
drug treatments for COVID-19.

Jointly developed by Artepharm Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Guangdong New South 
Group, and the Professor Li Guoqiao-led research team at Guangzhou University 
of Chinese Medicine, Artequick artemisinin and piperaquine tablets were 
certified by China's National Medical Products Administration as a Category I 
new drug in 2006. And they have been the drug of first choice recommended by 
the National Health Commission of China since 2009. Under patent protection in 
40 countries, including the U.S., and a registered trademark in 29 nations, 
Artequick has been registered and licensed to sell in 24 states, and is now 
among major antimalarials in Nigeria, Tanzania, and Kenya. That being so, the 
medication has contributed to a malaria-free world at a fast pace by preventing 
tens of millions of people from contracting the disease.

Since last year, Guangdong New South Group, together with scientists from the 
Artemisinin Research Center of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine and 
Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Health, has conducted clinical trials for 
artemisinin-piperaquine in treating COVID-19 at Guangzhou Eighth People's 
Hospital in Guangdong Province and Hongqi Hospital Affiliated to Mudanjiang 
Medical University in Heilongjiang Province. The study found that it took 8.3 
days on average for the nucleic acid test results of all 85 observation cases 
(who were treated with the compound) to turn negative. And when observed on the 
21st day, 98.8% of them saw a negative result, and on the 28th day, 100%, 
compared to 14.3% and 58.7%, respectively, for the control group of 63 
infections not on artemisinin-piperaquine medication. According to an in vitro 
experiment by Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Health, the highest 
non-toxicity concentration of artemisinin-piperaquine stands at 125 micrograms 
per milliliter, which helps inhibit HCoV-229E from causing a cytopathic effect 
in HuH-7 cells.

In many African countries, the personnel of local Chinese-funded institutions 
and enterprises had produced a significant result, as they adopted 
artemisinin-piperaquine to prevent and treat the coronavirus, Ms. Huo Jiangtao, 
head of Africa Guangdong Business Association noted. No COVID-19 cases treated 
with the drug in the Comoros, Kenya, and some other nations have died from the 

The progress was lauded by Zhong Nanshan, China's top respiratory expert. The 
experiment had produced "some preliminary positive results", he said, adding 
that the efficacy of artemisinin-piperaquine in treating the virus should not 
just be based on the rate of nucleic acid tests conversing negative, but the 
holistic observation of genetics and meticulous verification.

"Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been a highlight of China's response to 
COVID-19. Artemisinin and piperaquine tablets are derived from TCM. Artemisinin 
is extracted from the plant Artemisia annua, an herb employed in TCM, and with 
years of experience, proves to be safe and effective in curing malaria. Going 
ahead, the drug is expected to have a greater role to play in the treatment of 
other diseases," said Zhu Layi, president of Guangdong New South Group.

The research on using artemisinin-piperaquine to treat COVID-19 has now been 
steadily advanced.

Source: Guangdong New South Traditional Chinese Medicine Institute

Image Attachments Links:


   Caption: Artequick artemisinin and piperaquine tablets developed by 
Artepharm Co., Ltd.