A group of specialists from China and Canada tested medicine for the treatment of hepatitis B and C, as well as blood and skin cancer against COVID-19 infection. This is a synthetic version of interferon alpha-2.
As TASS notes, this is one of the signaling proteins of the immune system that the body produces when it encounters pathogens. Interferons prevent viruses from multiplying in infected cells and 'force' the immune system to actively fight them.
Scientists have already created synthetic analogs of interferons or have repeatedly tried to force the body to produce more of these proteins. Currently, synthetic versions of interferons are used to inhibit the progression of multiple sclerosis and some other autoimmune diseases in which the natural synthesis of these proteins is impaired. They are also used as part of antiviral and anticancer therapy.
In a new study involving 77 volunteers, interferon alfa-2 was tested in COVID-19 patients. COVID-19 remains in the body for about 20 days from the time of infection, but synthetic interferon alfa-2 reduced this time by about a week. The effect was seen among both young and elderly patients.