Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) constituent lab CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Lucknow has received permission for carrying out Phase III randomised, trial of efficacy, safety and tolerability of antiviral drug Umifenovir.
COVID-19 drug latest news: Amid an intense race to develop a vaccine or a drug against the deadly coronavirus infection, a ray of hope has emerged in India. Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) constituent lab CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Lucknow has received permission for carrying out Phase III randomised, trial of efficacy, safety and tolerability of antiviral drug Umifenovir.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the trials will be carried out at King George’s Medical University (KGMU), Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences (RMLIMS) and ERA’s Lucknow Medical College and Hospital, Lucknow.
“This drug has a good safety profile and acts by preventing entry of virus into human cells and also by priming the immune system. Umifenovir is mainly used for treatment of influenza and is available in China and Russia, and has recently come into prominence due to its potential use for Covid19 patients,” the statement said.
All the raw material for Umifenovir are indigenously available and if the clinical trial is successful, Professor Tapas Kundu, Director CSIR-CDRI said. Umifenovir can be a safe, efficacious, affordable drug against COVID-19 and can be part of National Program against COVID-19, he added.
Scientists across the world are involved in massive effort to develop a vaccine against the COVID-19 infection which has affected over 83 lakh people and killed more than 4 lakh. In India, over 3.66 lakh people have been infected, and the death toll stands at over 12,000.
Meanwhile, tests have shown that low doses of dexamethasone can reduce deaths of one-third patients affected by COVID-19. The researchers arrived at the conclusion after assessing the inexpensive drug on 2,100 people, news agency PTI reported.
The research on low-dose dexamethasone steroid treatment was a part of the RECOVERY (Randomised Evaluation of COVid-19 thERapY) trial that was testing the efficacy of a wide-range of drugs and therapies for COVID-19, the report said.