China testing HIV drug as treatment for new coronavirus

China testing HIV drug as treatment for new coronavirus

China health authorities requested the drug-maker to help with the government's efforts to address the crisis

In this photo taken on January 25, 2020, medical staff wearing protective clothing to protect against a previously unknown coronavirus arrive with a patient at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan. (AFP Photo)

China is testing an HIV drug as a treatment for symptoms of the new coronavirus that is rapidly spreading, said drug-maker AbbVie Inc on Sunday.

China health authorities requested the drug-maker to help with the government's efforts to address the crisis, according to Adelle Infante, a spokeswoman for North Chicago, Illinois-based AbbVie.

Aluvia, which is also known as Kaletra, is a combination of lopinavir and ritonavir.

In guidance published on Thursday, the government said there is no effective anti-virus medicine but suggested taking two lopinavir/ritonavir pills and inhaling a dose of nebulized alpha-interferon twice a day.

Health authorities around the world are racing to prevent a pandemic after more than 2,000 people were infected in China and around 80 died after contracting the virus.