Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday launched an online portal that provides information about CSIR ushered repurposed drugs and their current stage of trials. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has been exploring multiple combination clinical trials of antivirals with host-directed therapies for a potential treatment of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.
It has been working with the AYUSH Ministry for clinical trials of AYUSH drugs and has undertaken safety and efficacy trials of prophylactics and therapeutics based on individual plant-based compounds. Apart from information about CSIR repurposed drugs, the website — CuRED — also provides details about clinical trials of diagnostics and devices in which the scientific body is involved.
Five clinical trials, involving Withania somnifera, Tinospora cordifolia plus Piper longum (in combination), Glycyrrhiza glabra, Tinospora cordifolia and Adhatoda vasica (individually and in combination) and AYUSH-64 formulation are undergoing safety and efficacy trials, according to an official release. A key clinical trial by CSIR is that of Sepsivac (Mw) against COVID-19 in partnership with Cadila. The phase-two clinical trial of this drug has been completed successfully on critically ill COVID-19 patients and a more extensive phase-three trial is on the anvil, the scientific body said. Also, the phase-two trial of phytopharmaceutical AQCH on COVID-19 patients with Sun Pharma and DBT is underway.
In addition to clinical trials of repurposed drugs and vaccines, CSIR has been involved in clinical trials of diagnostics and devices. Vardhan lauded the efforts of CSIR for being at the forefront of the ongoing fight against COVID-19 and prioritising clinical trials, generating data for their regulatory approval and helping the launch of drugs and diagnostics in the market. He commended the approach of using repurposed drugs, synthesising COVID-19 drugs through new processes and transferring it to the industry.