Star Online Report
Scientists at Satyendra Nath Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences (SNBNCBS) in India’s Kolkata claim to have developed a safe and cost-effective nanomedicine that could treat Covid-19 and a few other diseases.
The nanomedicine can decrease or increase reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the body, depending on the situation and thus cure the disease, reports our New Delhi correspondent quoting SNBNCBS scientists.
The encouraging results of this research for controlled enhancement of ROS in mammals has raised hopes of a new potential for the application of nanomedicine in controlling virus infections, including COVID-19, the scientists said.
Animal trial for the reduction and oxidation processes (Redox) healing several diseases is completed and now the SNBNCBS is looking for sponsors to start clinical trials on humans.
“Enhancement of oxidative stress by nanomedicine in animal tissue is also commendable and finds application in curing diseases, including neonatal jaundice. Recently the institute has shown that the added oxidative stress upon administration of the nanomedicine can break down bilirubin (the toxic molecule causing jaundice), providing a cure for hyperbilirubinemia (jaundice),” the Centre said.
In a trial on mice, the nanomedicine was found safe and swift, precisely bringing down bilirubin levels within two and a half hours. Recently, local administration of hydrogen peroxide, which is in a class of ROS, is recommended to be a way of surviving COVID-19, SNBNCBS said.
The medicine combines nanoparticles extracted from manganese salt with citrus extract, like from lemon and the artificially-made nanomedicine was found to be important in maintaining a balance of reduction and oxidation processes (Redox) in body’s tissues. Redox reactions in cells add or remove oxygen, and are essential for many processes such as generating energy in cells.
Human body cells naturally produce ROS or generate oxidative stress to kill viruses or bacteria and infected cells in the body. “Thus, controlled-increase of ROS or oxidative stress aids our immune cells to perform their natural functions more efficiently,” SNBNCBS also explained.
Meanwhile, another India government-run body, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has identified the top 25 drugs for the purpose.
Among these top 25 drugs, Favipiravir, a broad-spectrum inhibitor of viral RNA polymerase, has emerged as of one of the most promising, our correspondent reports quoting India’s Science and Technology Ministry as saying.
Favipiravir, developed by Fujifilm Toyama Chemical Ltd, is an approved treatment for common influenza and is marketed in Russia, China and Japan.
Repurposed drugs can be quickly deployed for treatment as opposed to new drugs which need a long time for development. Globally many drugs are under clinical trials on coronavirus patients to establish their efficacy.
CSIR claims it has developed a convenient and cost-effective synthetic process for Favipiravir and the entire process and significant quantities of pharma grade ingredients of Favipiravir has been transferred to Cipla, a leading private sector pharmaceutical company.
Cipla, which will be conducting the investigations prior to launching this drug against Covid-19 in India, has approached the country’s drug regulatory authority DCGI for approval for its launch in India.
Under the auspices of Indian Council of Medical Research, Cipla will conduct a suitable limited trial prior to marketing the product as Ciplenza.
In another development, Defence Institute of Advanced Technology in Pune has developed a microwave steriliser to disintegrate Covid-19 by differential heating in the range of 560 to 600 Celsius temperatures.