A health worker takes a blood sample through a car window in Bogor, West Java, on April 8. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Indonesia Claims Five-Drug Combo Effectively Reduces Coronavirus Count in Human Body

BY :TARA MARCHELIN

JUNE 12, 2020

Jakarta. Researchers from Airlangga University, the National Covid-19 Task Force and State Intelligence Agency claim to have found a combination of medicine that effectively reduces the number of Sars-Cov-2, the coronavirus that causes the Covid-19 disease, in the human body.

The researchers have submitted the result to several scientific journals for a peer review. 

"We've researched drug combo regiments and two types of stem cells that seem to be quite effective at eliminating the virus. We used the Sars-Cov-2 virus from Indonesia in the research," Purwati, the head of Airlangga University's Stem Cell Research and Development Center, said on Friday.

Purwati said the first drug combination comprises Lopinavir, Ritonavir and Azithromycin. The second Lopinavir, Ritonavir and Doxycycline. The third Lopinavir, Ritonavir and Clarithromycin. The fourth Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin. The fifth Hydroxychloroquine and Doxycycline.

"We observed the combinations for 24 hours, 48 hours and 72 hours, during which the number of viruses lowered from hundreds of thousands to undetected," she said in an online press conference.

Purwati said the researchers examined 14 drug combinations in total, but only five were found to be effective against the novel coronavirus.

She said a drug combination regiment is more potent and effective than a single-drug regiment.

"A combination regiment also requires lower dosage, one-fifth to one-third of the normal dosage, which also lowers the risk of drug toxicity," Purwati said.

Purwati said all the combos use medications already available in the market.

All of them have gone through tests by the National Drug and Food Control Agency (BPOM), including in-vitro testing, animal testing and post-distribution testing. All of them can be legally bought and sold in Indonesia. 

She said the researchers went through several steps to make sure the drug combos are safe for Covid-19 patients. 

"First, we ensure the drugs we use are not toxic. Second, we find out how effective they are at killing the virus. Third, we check how long their effects can last. We also check inflammatory and anti-inflammatory factors," Purwati said.

The researchers also studied two types of stem cells, natural-killer cell and hematopoietic cell.

"The natural-killer cell and the hematopoietic cell can deactivate 80 percent to 90 percent of the virus within 48 to 72 hours," Purwati said.

She said the cells were taken from Covid-19 patients' blood samples with a breeding time of 3 to 4 days for the hematopoietic cell and 7 to 14 days for the natural-killer cell.

Purwanti said the natural-killer cell can last for approximately four months in the body to prevent infection from the coronavirus.

"We hope the research we've done with the Covid-19 Task Force and BIN can be useful for Indonesia and the world. We've already submitted the study to seven peer-reviewed journals," Purwati said.

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