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CSIR gets approval for two clinical drug trials for COVID-19

Favipiravir is a drug used in Japan, China, and other countries for the treatment of influenza while Phytopharmaceutical is herbal medicine extracted from plants.

May 9, 2020 10:00 IST
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The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has received approval for two clinical trial drugs- ‘phytopharmaceutical’ and ‘favipiravir’ to treat COVID-19. The approval has been given by the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI).

Shekhar Mande, CSIR Director-General stated that the trial will begin within a week. He also stated that CSIR has already been working with pharmaceutical companies for the solution to control COVID-19.

Favipiravir is a drug used in Japan, China, and other countries for the treatment of influenza while Phytopharmaceutical is herbal medicine extracted from plants.

Key Highlights:

CSIR has been exploring the native herb as a biological medicine or phytopharmaceutical, which has already been tested as medicine for dengue.

As CSIR has been working with multiple pharmaceutical companies to bring solutions against COVID-19, few clinical trials have already been initiated in the partnership of certain companies.

On May 2016, an International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Delhi, and a renowned pharmaceutical company had signed an agreement for the development of a botanical drug as a treatment against dengue.

As per Shekhar Mande, Director General of CSIR, testing of this medicine against dengue is already in the process and now it is in the advanced stage in phase II human trials.

About Phytopharmaceutical:

Phytopharmaceutical is basically a herbal medicine that is extracted from the plants. It is a mixture of different compounds but has a biological origin from a plant.

In the United States (US), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has termed it botanical, but in India, DGCI calls it phytopharmaceutical. It has already been tested as medicine for dengue.

About Favipiravir:

Faripiravir is commonly used in China, Japan, and some other countries for the treatment of influenza and has a very broad spectrum of RNA polymerase.

The Director-general of CSIR has stated that is it is a very safe drug and its trail can be expected to be completed in about 1.5 months. He further added that if the tests are successful with the expected result, then the drug will be available soon enough at an affordable price. The main reason for the sooner availability is also that it is an old medicine and its patent has been expired.

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