Researchers develop nanomedicine to treat Covid patients, human trials awaited
Kolkata: Researchers and scientists at the S N Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences (SNBNCBS) in Kolkata developed a nanomedicine, the nanoparticle technology which will specifically target the respiratory system of the Corona patients and therefore, provide better therapeutic efficacy against COVID-19 that causes pneumonia-induced death.
The medicine has already been tested successfully on animals and now awaits human trials. A nanomedicine to counter COVID-19 is a completely new concept in the world and it is far more effective than normal drugs, said Prof Samir Kumar Pal, a senior professor at the department of Chemical, Biological and Macromolecular Sciences under SNBNCBS. Prof Pal along with Anirudhha Adhikari led the research team that has prepared the nanomedicine. Scientists believe that it can be an effective cure for COVID-19.
"It may take two years to finally roll out the nanomedicine as some formalities are still involved in the process. We have successfully tested the nanomedicine on mice and now waiting for animal trials. We have applied to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for its permission to begin human trials for the nanomedicine. We are also looking for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval from the USA to get an international market. We are the first institute in the world to conduct research and develop the nanomedicine with respect to COVID-19," Prof Pal said.
The newly-developed nanomedicine would be used with a nebulizer, instead of injection, so that it can target a particular region. When the medicine is distributed into various parts of the body through the blood system, it works in the whole body but when the nanomedicine is targeted to a particular part of the body it would have a better efficacy level.
"The respiratory system would be the target area of the nanomedicine since COVID-19 initially affects it. The medicine infuses Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) into human cells, which will make the cells immuned to the virus/bacteria/antigen and the cell will start attacking it. If the nanomedicine is applied in slightly higher quantity, the ROS will destroy the virus," Prof Pal said. He further added: "It would take nearly two years for the medicine to reach the market. The disease will stay even if the pandemic gets over. There is no guarantee that the pandemic will not resurface."
The animal trials of the medicine have been conducted at the animal house of the Uluberia College as it has an affiliation with the SNBNCBS. Uluberia College, which is under the fold of Calcutta University, has a state-of-the-art animal house. Dr Debasish Pal, principal of Uluberia College, who had been trained from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA also immensely helped to make the research happen.