Interviewer: Professor Fish, thank you for taking the time today to do this interview on the use
of interferon Alfa-2b as a treatment for COVID-19.
Could you firstly please give an outline of
the molecular basis of why this protein was chosen as therapy for SARS-CoV-2?
Prof. Fish: Absolutely, so interferons, in fact, type I interferons,
which are interferon Alphas and interferon Beta,
have been widely known as broad-spectrum antivirals.
That is in response to any and all virus infections.
The very first response our body has is the innate immune response and
our ability to produce interferon Alphas and interferon Beta.
It doesn't matter what the virus is,
and it doesn't matter where the virus targets,
whether it's a respiratory virus,
whether it's a virus that targets the liver,
the heart comes in through the skin,
through a mosquito bite.
Our very first response is to make interferon Alphas and interferon Beta.
Why did we choose interferon Alfa-2b for our study?
Well, primarily it was,
to be honest for convenience in that at that time in Wuhan,
China, the availability was for interferon Alfa-2b.
Subsequently, it's now become part of the standard of care.
But in reality, both interferon Alphas and interferon Beta bind to and activate
the same receptor that would lead to an antiviral response elimination of the virus.