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 said.
Economy team work in strong coordination
On the economic developments, Varank stressed that September and October electricity consumption data of the organized industrial zones show that Turkey has been recovering the losses of the pandemic period.
“There is a strong improvement in the manufacturing industry in orders, production, capacity utilization rates, and exports,” he noted.
The investment demand of the real sector rose 21% in January-October, compared to the same period last year, he said, adding that a total of 8,396 incentive certificates have been issued for fixed investment worth 159 billion Turkish liras (nearly $20.5 billion).
“The number of industrial enterprises that started production reached 12,259 with a rise of 14% during the same period.
Meanwhile, Varank also said the latest virus-related restrictions in Europe can affect Turkey as well.
“For this, we closely monitor what is happening across the world, analyze market fluctuations, and evaluate their possible effects on our industry.
“All ministries responsible for the economy have been working in strong coordination and team spirit,” the minister assured.