Xu Wei, a man from China, began studying pharmacology and chemistry in order to make medicine for his terminally ill son. It is not produced in the country, and supplies from the United States have stopped due to the pandemic.

Xu Wei, a resident of the city of Kunming in the southern province of Yunnan, learned that his son was diagnosed with a rare disease – Menkes’s disease – when the body has a violation of the cellular transport of copper. People with this diagnosis live no more than three years.

The child needs to take copper histidine every day, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the drug is almost not delivered from the United States to China. It is not produced locally, as it is expensive and requires a lot of paperwork.

At first, Xu Wei turned to local pharmaceutical companies, but they said that the production of copper histidine would be very expensive, and it is not known how quickly the documents from the regulators will be ready: they can wait for years.

The child’s father decided to synthesize the drug on his own after experimental treatment in the clinic did not help.

I didn’t go to university, but that doesn’t mean that I cannot study now. My son needs me, I will study and try all possible ways to save him.

Xu Wei, father of a sick boy

The man bought laboratory equipment and enrolled in courses in pharmacology and chemistry at local universities in order to learn how to manufacture a drug, as well as be able to check its quality.

A man synthesizes a drug according to descriptions from American scientific journals: he translated articles on his own, sometimes according to words.

Wei tested the resulting drug first on rabbits, after they survived, he injected it himself. After making sure of his safety, the Chinese man injected his son. After that, he took the child to the clinic to rule out the possibility of complications.

The Chinese authorities are aware of the laboratory and do not interfere with its work:

He makes medicine only for his son and takes full responsibility for himself. Until he sells the drug to others, there is no danger to citizens. We will not interfere.

Kunming City Officials