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Ascletis Pharma has announced that three patients being treated with Ganovo plus Ritonavir as part of a Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia clinical trial in China have been discharged from hospital.

Ganovo is an oral inhibitor of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease. It secured China’s National Medical Products Administration approval in June 2018 to treat chronic Hepatitis C.

Meanwhile, ritonavir is a protease inhibitor manufactured by AbbVie. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) previously approved the drug to treat HIV infection in people aged one month and above.

On 16 February, the Ninth Hospital of Nanchang in China approved the clinical trial to evaluate the combination in patients suffering from pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus.

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Led by the hospital director Dr Hongyi Chen, the trial enrolled its first participant on 17 February.

According to the company, three patients treated with Ganovo plus Ritonavir were discharged from the hospital as they met the Diagnosis and Treatment Program for Novel Coronavirus Infection (Trial Version 6) discharge criteria.

The discharge standards were provided by China’s National Health Commission. Other participants in the trial are receiving treatment.

Ascletis Pharma founder, chairman and CEO Dr Jinzi Wu said: “We are excited that Ascletis, as a leading Chinese pharmaceutical company in anti-viral field, with years of technical precipitation, the developed anti-viral drugs now is being used in clinical studies on the treatment of HCP, and expect Ascletis could contribute more in anti-HCP drugs’ development and application.”