The Institut Pasteur de Lille should obtain authorization within a week to test its treatment against covid-19 on humans.
The Institute has obtained the “national research priority” label which obliges the National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM) and the ethics council to give their opinion within 8 days.
Their authorizations are still needed before starting human testing.
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On France 3, Xavier Nassif, the director of the Institut Pasteur de Lille shows his optimism.
If all goes well I hope that we can start testing by the end of April or at the very beginning of May
Ultimately, the results of this antiviral in humans should be known during "
the course of the summer
An effective drug against variants
The antiviral differs from the vaccine in that it does not attack the same compounds of the coronavirus.
They are insensitive to variants because they attack the fundamental constituents that allow the virus to replicate.
They do not vary, or very little,
”explains Xavier Nassif.
The Institut Pasteur de Lille has expertise in rare coronaviruses in France.
It also has a large chemical library (a database of molecules).
This local expertise has enabled us to identify a molecule:
clofoctol (or octofen), an old drug used against nasopharyngitis, which very well inhibits the growth of the coronavirus in vitro
", explains its president.
If it proves to be effective, this antiviral would be valuable in the event of ineffectiveness of the vaccines on certain variants.
Cautious, Xavier Nassif does not however exclude the possibility of variation of viral strains, and therefore of the fundamental constituents which the antiviral attacks, which would affect the effectiveness of his drug.