Scientists working with Turkey’s COVID-19 Platform have proven through trials on animals that the Ribavirin molecule is effective in virus treatment, said the country’s industry and technology minister on Monday.

An application was made to the Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency to conduct a Phase 3 clinical study on this molecule, Mustafa Varank told the Turkish parliament in his speech on the ministry’s budget plans for next year.

Ribavirin is used as an antiviral medication to treat hepatitis C and some viral hemorrhagic fevers.

“Our scientists also proved with all pre-clinical experimental results that the nature-identical Griffithsin molecule has an anti-infection effect,” he noted.

He added that trials of a total of four vaccine candidates have been successfully completed on animals, and that efforts are underway to move to the clinical trial stage soon.

A local synthesis of the drug Favipiravir, used in COVID-19 treatment, has been also developed through university-industry cooperation, he added.

Under the leadership of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), a total of 17 projects are conducted in developing a vaccine and drug against COVID-19, the minister also said.

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