Blood from Singapore used for drug to treat Trump, says report

US President Donald Trump leaving hospital after three days’ treatment for Covid-19 last week. (AP pic)

PETALING JAYA: The drug used to treat US President Donald Trump for Covid-19 was developed with blood recovered from patients in Singapore, according to a news report in the republic.

Trump and his wife Melania tested positive for the virus on Oct 2. He was discharged on Monday and Trump attributed his recovery to an experimental drug formulated by US biotechnology firm Regeneron.

The Singapore news site said the republic’s National Centre for Infectious Diseases had, at Regeneron’s request, provided blood samples of patients who had recovered from Covid-19.

NCID senior consultant and director Associate Prof David Lye was quoted as saying the centre was told to recruit up to 20 patients who had recovered from the virus to contribute their blood samples.

“They eventually used the samples from three of our five patients, as the starting point for research using their technology to develop their monoclonal antibodies,” Lye was quoted as saying.

The samples were used as part of pre-clinical trials to develop the drug, which involves the combination of two antibodies, one from genetically-modified mice and the other from the recovered patients, to form a “cocktail drug”.

Lye said the NCID was also collaborating in US clinical trials of remdesivir, another Covid-19 drug used to treat Trump.