Sunkovir, approved by the Ministry of Health (MoH) on April 12, was the first made-in-Vietnam herbal medicine to treat respiratory viral infections (including influenza and mild Covid-19), announced at a workshop on the efficacy of traditional medicine in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) on April 25.
After just three days of using Sunkovir, all patients showed a significant reduction in symptoms and severity, according to a report presented at the workshop.
Sunkovir is the first made-in-Vietnam herbal medicine approved to treat Covid-19 patients. Photo: vienydhdt.gov.vn
Dr. Truong Thi Ngoc Lan, deputy director of the HCMC Institute of Traditional Medicine and a member of the research team, said none of the 1,115 Covid-19 patients enrolled in the study experienced severe symptoms after administering the medicine.
“Sunkovir helped significantly reduce the severity of the symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, loss of smell and taste, nasal congestion, body aches, sore throat, headache, fatigue, chest pain, sneezing, hoarseness, sweating, and insomnia from the third day onwards,” Lan said.
She added that the drug is indicated for use in cases of diseases caused by respiratory viruses, such as influenza and mild Covid-19, at the onset stage to quickly reduce the symptoms of the disease. It is safe for patients, children from 3 years of age, on reproduction and genetics. On average, patients recovered from all symptoms within seven days.
"The drug can be combined with modern medical treatment regimens such as antipyretics, anti-inflammatories, pain relievers, cough suppressants, and antibiotics if necessary," Lan noted.
Dr. Huynh Nguyen Loc, director of the HCMC Institute of Traditional Medicine, said the success of SunKovir is the result of collaboration among hundreds of doctors and pharmacists from various academies, universities and institutes nationwide.
Dr. Huynh Nguyen Loc, director of the HCMC Traditional Medicine Institute, speaks at the workshop. Photo: Thao Phuong
"This has confirmed the role and value of Vietnamese traditional medicines in the prevention and treatment of emerging epidemics in the country," Loc said.
Sunkovir was officially approved by the National Ethics Committee in Vietnam as a safe and effective product after eight clinical trials and preclinical studies conducted between January 2021 and December 2022.
The drug has also been evaluated for immunity enhancement at the Pharmacology Department of Hanoi Medical University. It has also been prepared, experimentally produced, and tested for stability at the Vietnam Chemical Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Company.
The Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology said that research results have proven Sunkovir is safe and effective in impeding the development of SARS-CoV-2 and the H5N1 virus.
The drug has also shown its immune-enhancing effect in animal studies, the academy added.
According to Le Quang Huan, a senior researcher at the Institute of Biotechnology under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, the research team used bioinformatics technology to screen the main active ingredients in herbs with strong binding affinity to molecules involved in the invasion and proliferation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
They also combined ancient and modern medical documents and recent international publications to create the highest treatment efficiency product.
The research has been approved for publication in the science publications Pubmed and Phytotherapy Research of the network Scopus of Wiley (February 2023).