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IIT-Hyderabad Researchers Devise Technique to Make Black Fungus Cure Affordable

IIT-Hyderabad researchers claim to have found affordable cure for black fungus. (Representational)

IIT-Hyderabad researchers claim to have found affordable cure for black fungus. (Representational)

The researchers claim that a 60 mg AmB tablet can be available for Rs 200. The technology developed, is made free from IP, so that it can be mass-produced

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad claim to have made oral formation which can enable sustained-release of Amp B drug through tablets. These can be available at Rs 200 which can bring the cost of the treatment for black fungus down.

Prof Saptarshi Majumdar and Dr Chandra Shekhar Sharma from the Department of chemical engineering, IIT-Hyderabad had proven study about “oral nanofibrous AMB to be effective for Kala-Azar" in 2019. The duo is developing on their study and claim that this could be a solution to black fungus as well. With the two years of advancement of examination, the researchers are now confident that the technology can be transferred to suitable pharma partners for large-scale production.

At present, the Kala-Azar treatment is being used as a treatment for Black and another fungus in the country and its availability and affordability make it need to allow emergency and immediate trial of this oral drug, they claim.

The researchers claim that a 60 mg AmB tablet can be available for Rs 200. These tablets have enhanced AmB absorption and can be a patient-friendly solution and can reduced nephrotoxicity (toxicity of kidneys). “Due to its amphiphilic nature, the AmB has poor aqueous solubility and forms aggregates in the system, which stresses renal filtration and thus causing nephrotoxicity. This is the reason the oral administration has abstained, although being the most comfortable and effective route," they claim.

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Research funded by DST-Nanomission, a team led by Prof. Saptarshi Majumdar and Dr. Chandra Shekhar Sharma along with their PhD scholars Mrunalini Gaydhane and Anindita Laha intended to deliver Amphotericin B orally at an extremely slow rate, of course within the therapeutic window. The purpose was to increase the drug absorption and reduce aggregation, to lower the drug toxicity. For this, the team has selected gelatin an FDA-approved polymer as an excipient for drug molecules.

Citing the importance of solutions in given circumstances, Dr. Chandra Shekhar Sharma, Associate Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering said, “As the main idea behind our research is to find a solution to serve society. The technology developed, is made free from IP, so that it can be mass-produced and is affordable & available to the public at large."

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first published:May 30, 2021, 10:00 IST