CDRI extends Covid-19 drug trial to another Lucknow hospital; results by November
The Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI) has extended the ongoing randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials of influenza drug Umifenovir involving Covid-19 patients to a third hospital in Lucknow for a broader base of results.
The trials began in August at King George’s Medical University and Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences. CDRI has now started the trials at ERA’s Medical College.
CDRI director Tapas Kumar Kundu said the idea is to ensure a broader base for trails that will give more accurate findings. “The trials are being done as per the schedule and if everything goes right, we will be in a position to release the findings in November.”
Kundu said Umifenovir has a good safety profile and acts by preventing the entry of the virus into human cells and also by priming the immune system. “It has been in use to cure influenza in countries like China and Russia for over two decades. Our preliminary research shows that it could be a suitable candidate in Covid-19 management. The clinical trials are aimed to gauge its efficacy.”
He declined to specify the number of Covid-19 patients involved but people aware of the matter said it could be between 150 to 200.
CDRI began the trials after getting a go-ahead from the Drug Controller General of India in June.
As part of the trials, patients have been divided into groups with some administered Umifenovir while the rest placebo. None of the candidates will know if they are getting the drug or a placebo to check the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of Umifenovir.