Breakthrough in COVID-19 treatment: Clinical trial for New drug Umifenovir shows promising results
Lucknow: In a major breakthrough for COVID-19 treatment, the Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI) has claimed that its antiviral drug Umifenovir has shown positive results in a clinical trial.
CDRI in collaboration with CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (IMT), Chandigarh conducted a clinical trial at King George's Medical University (KGMU), Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences (RMLIMS), and Era's Lucknow Medical College and Hospital (ELMCH).
In a double-blind study, involving 132 COVID home quarantined patients showed that Umifenovir twice daily (800mg) for five days, can effectively reduce viral load to zero in mild or moderate symptomatic and asymptomatic patients by checking multiplication of the virus also the Patients did not experience any side effects and their symptoms also did not turn severe, CDRI director Professor Tapas Kundu said. The trials also involved patients who were diagnosed with delta variants.
''Since Umifenovir has a broad-spectrum antiviral which is in use as a safe over-the-counter option for influenza and pneumonia for over 20 years in Russia, China, and other countries, the first two trials were not mandatory, and CDRI directly went for phase III trial" the CDRI director informed TNIE.
Study results have shown that Umifenovir exhibits good cell culture inhibition of SARS-Cov2, suggesting that the drug inhibited the entry of SARS-Cov2 virus into human cells.
"The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has evaluated the clinical trials report and in view of the highly encouraging results and he has asked the team to continue the studies on more mild, asymptomatic patients for grant of emergency approval of the drug," he added.
"We are looking into the possibility of Umifenovir syrup for children and also in powder form so that it can be used as puff inhalers," said Prof Ravishankar.
The studies showed that the drug was safe for pregnant women and children and is also more economic than current treatments.