Singapore startup testing drug used to treat cats in race to find Covid-19 cure

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Source : TODAY

SINGAPORE — As the global race to find effective cures for Covid-19 heats up, a biomedical startup based in Singapore and Malaysia believes it could have an answer: Its antiviral drug that has successfully treated coronaviruses and leukaemia in cats. 

The drug, known as Retromad1, has been proven to effectively treat the feline leukaemia virus and the feline infectious peritonitis virus, both which are highly fatal to cats. 

The latter is known as FeCoV, a coronavirus in the same family as Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 in humans.

Dr Ng Cher Yew, chief executive officer of Biovalence Technologies, which developed the drug, said that Retromad1 is being used by some veterinary clinics in Singapore.

The drug was originally invented to treat herpes in humans, though it has not been officially tested for human use. Biovalence is looking to test how the drug affects the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. 

It generally takes years before a drug can be fully trialled and clinically approved for use in humans, but medical research on the Sars-CoV-2 virus has been coming out at a rapid pace in light of the ongoing pandemic.

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