China says tests of human immunoglobulin are HIV negative

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BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese authorities said tests of a batch of human immunoglobulin for intravenous injection, reportedly contaminated with the HIV antibody, showed negative presence of the virus.

“Shanghai authorities have run virus tests for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C on the reported batch and they all show negative,” the National Medical Products Administration said in a statement on late Wednesday.

China’s National Health Commission had earlier said there was a “very low” risk of HIV infection from the batch after a baby was reported to have tested “weak” HIV positive.

It asked medical institutions to halt the use of the batch and seal remaining supplies for further investigation.

Shanghai’s Medical Products Administration said it had ordered the manufacturer to halt production.

Human immunoglobulin is made with human blood plasma and is used to treat a variety of conditions.

The Shanghai Medical Products Administration said in a statement on Wednesday that the batch, identified by China’s National Health Commission as number 20180610Z, was made by China Meheco Xinxing Pharma Co, a unit of state-controlled China Meheco Group Co Ltd.

The manufacturer could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday. Chinese offices are largely shut for the week-long Lunar New Year holiday.

The investigation began after a baby in Jiangxi province had initially tested “weak” positive for HIV during a health check, exposure that was traced to the batch under investigation, domestic media the China Economic Observer reported. The baby subsequently tested negative for HIV, the report said.

It is not clear how many people may have been injected with the batch under investigation. The media report said the batch contained 12,226 doses due to expire in 2021.

The Chinese government has repeatedly vowed to tighten safety oversight and to crack down on companies and officials following a string of food and drug scandals in recent years, including one last year involving the maker of a rabies vaccine.

Reporting by Muyu Xu and Tony Munroe; Editing by Michael Perry

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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