Thailand has reported promising results in the treatment of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) on Sunday.
According to the kingdom’s health ministry, a 71-year-old female patient — a Chinese national — tested negative for the pathogen 48 hours after doctors administered a combination of antiviral drugs.
Doctors combined lopinavir and ritonavir, medications used for managing HIV, with oseltamivir, a drug for treating influenza. They are currently waiting for research results to confirm the findings.
“The lab result of the positive on the coronavirus turned negative in 48 hours,” Dr. Kriengsak Attipornwanich said, according to AFP. “From being exhausted before, she [patient] could sit up in bed 12 hours later.”
Lopinavir and ritonavir are sold by AbbVie Inc. as Kaletra, while oseltamivir is sold by Roche Holding AG and Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. as Tamiflu. The combination was used on a total of three patients, according to Somkiat Lalitwongsa, director of the Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok.
Kaletra is currently being studied in a randomized, controlled trial in coronavirus patients in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. The Thai doctors incorporated Tamiflu with reference to research suggesting that it helped patients who suffered from the more deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
Two of the three patients in Thailand are still receiving the combination therapy, including the 71-year-old woman who tested negative. Treatment was discontinued on the third patient who developed rashes.
“There’s not enough evidence to support the effectiveness just yet. But we report to contribute to the medical community globally. The results look good so far,” Somkiat said, according to Bloomberg. “Because there’s no standard procedure yet, we’re trying new combinations of drugs.”
Thailand was the first country outside of China to report a case of the virus. So far, the country has confirmed a total of 19 infections, the Bangkok Post reported.
Meanwhile, more than 17,300 infections have been recorded globally, 362 of which resulted in deaths. The first death outside of China took place in the Philippines, CNN reported.