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India is working on a drug to contain, limit COVID-19 infection. Click to know

CSIR has decided to develop an approved immunomodulator, Sepsivac, to enhance innate immunity of the body to limit the spread of COVID-19 and fasten the recovery of its patients

New Delhi: At a time when the whole world is struggling to develop a vaccine to combat Coronavirus (COVID-19), India has come up with an innovative way to fight with the pandemic. According to a press release from the Ministry of Science & Technology, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has decided to develop/repurpose an approved immunomodulator, Sepsivac (a kind of commercial drug used to treat patients with gram-negative sepsis), to enhance innate immunity of the body to limit the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and fasten the recovery of COVID-19 patients. It will be developed through its flagship New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI) program, the press release added.

How does it work?

The natural defence mechanism of the body (innate immunity) plays a key role in the fight against Coronavirus (COVID-19) and other viral infections. It is a fast, first and efficient immune response for identifying and eliminating Coronavirus (COVID-19) and other viruses. The majority of persons coming in contact with Coronavirus (COVID-19) or other viruses either do not get the disease or get a milder form of the self-limiting disease as innate immunity is adequate.

How will Sepsivac limit spread of COVID-19?

It will protect the close contacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients and health care staff by boosting their innate response (immunity system) and thereby preventing them from acquiring the disease. Sepsivac will provide quicker recovery to the hospitalised Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients, who are not critically ill. It will also prevent the progression of disease wherein patients will need ICU management.

“Both these new clinical trials are now approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI). They will be randomized, double-blind, two-arm, controlled clinical trials. These two clinical trials are in addition to the recently announced trial on evaluating the efficacy of the drug for reducing mortality (deaths) in critically-ill COVID-19 patients,” the release further said.

Is Sepsivac safe to use?

Sepsivac contains heat-killed Mycobacterium W (Mw). It is found to be extremely safe in patients and no systemic side effects are associated with its use. It was developed under the NMITLI program of CSIR and is manufactured by Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Ahmedabad.