Antiviral Drug Umifenovir
- 19 Jun 2020
- 3 min read
Why in News
The Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Lucknow, a constituent lab of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has received permission for carrying out Phase III trials for the use of Umifenovir against Covid-19.
- These trials will be randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled that will test the efficacy, safety and tolerability of the drug.
- Safe: Umifenovir has already been used for the treatment of influenza in China and Russia and therefore is safe. It recently came into prominence due to its potential use for Covid-19 patients. The clinical trial is to evaluate its efficacy in Indian patients.
- Strengthens Immune System: It acts by preventing entry of the virus into human cells and also by priming the immune system.
- Indigenously Developed: All the raw materials for the drug are indigenously available and if the clinical trial is successful, Umifenovir can be a safe, efficacious, affordable drug against Covid-19.
- Potential Prophylactic Use: It has the potential for prophylactic use. A prophylactic is a medication or a treatment designed and used to prevent a disease from occurring.
- CSIR’s Efforts Against Covid-19:
Randomised, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trials
- Randomized trials mean that subjects are randomly assigned to placebo and intervention groups. Placebo is anything which looks like real treatment but it is actually not. For example- sugar pills and saline injections.
- Double-blind means that neither the patients nor the researchers know who is getting a placebo and who is getting the treatment. This ensures that the result of trials are not affected by the biases of researchers and patients.
- Placebo-controlled refers to a control group receiving a placebo. This sets it apart from studies that simply give participants treatment and record the results.
- Here, a control group is given a placebo while another group is given the drug (or other treatment) being studied. That way, researchers can compare the drug's effectiveness against the placebo's effectiveness.