In its bid to combat coronavirus, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has received approval from Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) for its two clinical trial drugs - 'favipiravir' and 'phytopharmaceutical'. Favipiravir is a drug which is commonly used in Japan, China and some other countries, to treat influenza that has a very broad spectrum of RNA polymerase.
The CSIR is exploring a native herb as a biological medicine or phytopharmaceutical, which is already being tested as medicine for dengue for its efficacy to combat COVID-19. CSIR Director General Shekhar Mande said that they will start the clinical trial within a week.
"The CSIR is working with multiple renowned pharmaceutical companies and trying to see whether we can bring a certain solution to the market as an intervention against COVID-19. In this regard, few clinical trials have already been initiated in partnership with certain companies last night. The DCGI has given us approval for clinical trials of two drugs so we will soon begin with it," he said.
Phytopharmaceutical is essentially a herbal medicine extracted from plants. It is a cocktail of different compounds but has a biological origin from a plant. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) terms it botanical, however, in India the DCGI calls it phytopharmaceutical. In May 2016, a renowned pharmaceutical company and International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Delhi, had signed an agreement to develop a botanical drug for treatment against dengue.
The country has seen 3,390 new cases and 103 new deaths in the last 24 hours. Along with it, 1,273 people have recovered. According to the latest update from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of total Coronavirus cases in the country has climbed to 56,342, including 37,916 active cases. While 1,886 deaths have been reported overall, around 16,540 people have been cured/discharged/migrated. Meanwhile, Maharashtra and Gujarat have the highest number of cases in the country with 17,974 and 7,012 cases respectively.
(With inputs from ANI)