The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has put enormous pressure on health facilities in both the public and private sectors, with dozens of patients lining up for admission. It has also had an effect on ongoing clinical trials for various drug and vaccine candidates, although hospitals and staff remain busy with patient care.

The CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) has lined up at least three potential reused drugs – Niclosamide, Colchicine and Chlorpromazine – in association with other CSIR laboratories for clinical trials. “While the time has come to launch clinical trials with many patients admitted to hospitals, we are aware that this will also put pressure on physicians who team up for clinical trials, as they need to monitor these patients well. closer and record many other parameters, ”emphasized S. Chandrasekhar, Director of IICT.

The institute has pioneered processing technology for Favipiravir and Remdesivir, reused for the treatment of COVID-19 and also works closely with indigenous pharmaceutical industries for the development of the next generation of antivirals and drugs. other drugs.

“The CSIR is open to granting a non-exclusive license to the processes we develop so that drugs are available in quantities at an affordable cost. A challenge with Favipiravir and Remdesivir in long storage is the shelf life. Currently, companies have data for less than a year and if more data is available, production can be sped up, ”he explained.

Pharmaceutical companies had to leave production lines in December of last year due to reduced demand and now the sudden increase has led to panic buying and shortage. “We expect companies to increase production during these months and the situation may improve in the coming days once regulatory approvals are granted for the infrastructure upgrade of existing facilities for more production,” he said. he added.

The IICT was also instrumental in the development of a crucial adjuvant for Bharat Biotech International Limited to release Covaxin in association with the Indian Council for Medical Research and the National Institute of Virology. “We are further improving the process so that it is easier to scale up to supply more adjuvants to Bharat Biotech as they improve vaccine production to meet demand in the country and internationally in a more profitable, ”said Dr Chandrasekhar.