The National Health Research Institutes’ (NHRI) Institute of Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Research yesterday announced that it has synthesized more than 1g of remdesivir, an experimental medication that has shown promise in fighting COVID-19.
The news came after the institutes on Thursday last week said that it had synthesized more than 1 milligram of remdesivir at 97 percent purity.
The government-run nonprofit yesterday said that its researchers were able to boost production to a level of grams within five days, well ahead of the originally planned schedule of two weeks.
NHRI president Liang Kung-yee (梁賡義) said that the experimental drug came to be regarded as a potential treatment for COVID-19 after the first person confirmed to have been infected with the virus in the US recovered after taking remdesivir.
After learning about the treatment, the NHRI on Feb. 5 mobilized its researchers and began efforts to synthesize the drug, he said.
Remdesivir is a novel antiviral drug developed by Gilead Sciences, a research-based US biopharmaceutical company, as a treatment for Ebola and Marburg viral infections.
Academic Sinica’s Institute of Chemistry on Friday last week also announced that its research team had synthesized more than 100 milligrams of remdesivir at 97 percent purity in two weeks.
The coast guard on Friday took a Chinese fishing boat and the 17 people on board into custody, after it rammed into a patrol boat while attempting to flee. A 100-tonne coast guard vessel at about 8am discovered a Chinese fishing boat illegally operating in waters about 11 nautical miles (20.4km) northwest of Hsinchu, the Hsinchu offshore flotilla of the Coast Guard Administration said. The crew refused to allow law enforcement to board the ship and attempted to flee, it added. The coast guard vessel and another ship chased the fishing boat for about a half hour, during which time the Chinese boat
Vice President William Lai (賴清德) yesterday said that Beijing was trying to “annex” Taiwan, while China said its recent series of drills near Taiwan are aimed at combating the “arrogance” of separatist forces. The Ministry of National Defense earlier this month said that it had observed dozens of Chinese fighters, drones, bombers and other aircraft, as well as warships and the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong, operating nearby. The increased frequency of China’s military activities has raised the risk of events “getting out of hand” and sparking an accidental clash, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said last week. Asked about the spurt
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on Monday said he would not attend the official Double Ten National Day celebrations for the first time this year, as its English name, “Taiwan National Day,” implies “Taiwan independence.” Writing on Facebook, Ma said he has attended every National Day celebration since entering public service 40 years ago, but “with an exceedingly heavy heart,” has decided to reject this year’s invitation. For the past three years, the government under President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has used “Taiwan National Day” for the event’s official English-language title, leaving the “Republic of China” nowhere to be found, he said. The move
RUNWAY UPGRADES: Airports and ports mainly scattered around southwestern Japan are being given major overhauls, primarily serving as civilian-use facilities Japan has chosen 33 airports and ports as candidates for improvement to enhance military capabilities, with a particular focus on infrastructure that could be utilized in a Taiwan emergency, according to a recent report in Japan’s Nikkei Shimbun. Citing the Japanese government’s fiscal budget proposal for next year, the newspaper said Toyko is to name some facilities as essential bases and receive funding for upgrades in line with the revamped national security strategy published last year. According to an unofficial policy document drafted last month and reviewed by the Nikkei, the Japanese government designated 14 airports and 19 ports for improvement, including