Yuanzhang Biotechnology Taiwan’s new combat capability against bird flu| Hot spotlight| Business conditions

At present, humans lack effective vaccines and drugs against avian influenza. This drove the international pharmaceutical companies Moderna and GlaxoSmithKline to urgently invest in the development of bird flu H5N1 vaccine. However, the virus mutates extremely quickly, and it remains to be seen whether a vaccine can solve the problem. In contrast, in Taiwan, a pharmaceutical company is actively developing a broad-spectrum bird flu drug from the perspective of antiviral drugs.

Yuanzhang Biotechnology Chairman Cai Yiru (left) and his research partners started from the perspective of antiviral drugs and actively developed avian influenza drugs, which are expected to become a major force in Taiwan’s fight against avian influenza.Yuanzhang Biotechnology/Provided

The H5N1 subtype (2.3.4.4b) highly pathogenic avian influenza virus strain is the main avian influenza virus in this global pandemic. Compared with other species, 2.3.4.4b is highly concerned by scientists due to two characteristics.

One is the ability to spread the virus beyond the past. 2.3.4.4b As of the end of February 2023, more than 58 million birds in the United States have been infected; it has also triggered a new wave of wild bird deaths around the world, with the number hitting a record high; the scale of culling birds in various countries has broken records. In addition, the virus has the ability to infect across mammals and even humans, and the number of related viruses continues to increase.

The second is the astonishing fatality rate of H5N1. According to the statistics of the World Health Organization, the mortality rate of human infection with H5N1 is as high as 53%, even worse than that of COVID-19. Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo, a professor of epidemiology in the UK, warned that although H5N1 has not yet been proven to be effective in human-to-human transmission, it is only a few mutation points away, and it may cause the next wave of human pandemic.

Dr. Shyam Bishen, head of health and healthcare at the World Economic Forum, appealed that we should prepare the H5N1 vaccine as soon as possible, and at the same time invest in the research and development and production of antiviral drugs to prevent the impact of bird flu in the future.

At present, there is a lack of vaccines and drugs to effectively deal with bird flu. Yuanzhang Biotechnology hopes to contribute to human health and well-being and poultry breeding, and use innovative medical technology to fight back against emerging mutant viruses.Yuanzhang Biotechnology/Provided

In the research and development of bird flu drugs, Taiwan Yuanzhang Biotechnology has already taken action. After discovering that its COVID-19 antiviral drugs YUAN-01 and YUAN-03 have the potential to treat avian influenza, Yuanzhang Biotechnology teamed up with Professor Arunee Thitithanyanont, an expert in virology from the Department of Microbiology, Mahidol University, Thailand, and the medical laboratory of Kaohsiung Medical University. Professor Wang Shengfan, Director of the Department of Biotechnology and Director of the Center for Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, has joined the ranks of bird flu drug development and is expected to become a major force in Taiwan’s fight against bird flu.

Wang Shengfan said that from the preliminary experimental results, YUAN-01 and YUAN-03 can effectively inhibit the infection ability of H5N1 avian influenza virus, and have the opportunity to be used as potential candidate drugs for avian influenza. Next, it is expected to start planning related animal experiments.

Chairman Cai Yiru of Yuanzhang Biotechnology pointed out that YUAN-01 and YUAN-03 are self-developed by Yuanzhang Biotechnology, and they are also the first self-developed COVID-19 antiviral drugs in Taiwan. In the face of the H5N1 attack, Yuanzhang Biotechnology hopes to contribute its own strength, in terms of human health and well-being and poultry breeding, and use innovative medical technology to fight back against emerging mutant viruses.

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