Tribune News Service
New Delhi, April 21
India will this week embark on its first drug trial against Covid-19 with the apex drug controller fast-tracking regulatory clearances today and granting the necessary approvals. The trial involves testing the efficacy of an existing Indian drug — Mycobacterium w — for reducing deaths in critically ill Covid patients currently on ventilator support.
Forty patients will be enrolled at three institutions – AIIMS, New Delhi; AIIMS, Bhopal; and PGI, Chandigarh —- chosen to host the trials.
The drug was first developed in 2007 under an initiative supported by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India’s apex science research body.
The drug, the only one to be approved globally for reduction of mortality in patients of gram negative sepsis, contains heat-killed mycobacterium w and has been tested to be safe in patients.
Speaking to The Tribune today, Dr Shekhar Mande, CSIR Director General, said, “The drug has a high success rate in patients of gram negative sepsis and effectively reduces mortality in such patients by 50 per cent. The drug works by boosting body immunity. Our immune response system has two arms — Th1 and Th2. The first arm Th1 consists of cells that offer specific and strong response to infections while Th2 offers non-specific immune response.
“Mycobacterium w boosts the body’s Th1 cells, improving the immune capacity. All regulatory approvals from the Drug Controller General of India have come and we will be initiating the trials this week. This is a big day for India.”
All about Mycobacterium w
- Trial to test efficacy of existing anti-sepsis Indian drug — Mycobacterium w — for reducing deaths in critically ill Covid patients
- An immunity boosting drug, Mw was first developed in 2007 by Cadila Pharmaceuticals, Ahmedabad, under a CSIR-backed initiative
- 40 patients each at AIIMS-New Delhi, AIIMS-Bhopal and PGI-Chandigarh to be enrolled for trials, which will be managed by CSIR
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