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Approval for homegrown COVID-19 pills granted

China Daily Updated:2023-01-30

China has granted conditional approval to two homegrown COVID-19 oral pills, the National Medical Products Administration said on Jan 29.

One of the newly approved medicines, Xiannuoxin, was jointly developed by Simcere Pharmaceutical Group, headquartered in Nanjing in Jiangsu province, the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.

According to Simcere, the new drug is a combination of simnotrelvir, a novel drug aimed at inhibiting the virus's replication, and a low dose of ritonavir, an antiretroviral medication already available on the market that can boost simnotrelvir's antiviral efficacy.

The other new drug, VV116, was jointly developed by Shanghai Vinnerna Biosciences and other research institutes in Shanghai.

The administration said that the two oral pills will be used for mild and moderate COVID-19 adult patients.

As of Jan 19, 10 domestically made COVID-19 drugs had either been granted official or conditional market approval or had been authorized to treat viral symptoms, according to the State Council's Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism.