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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.

Key Points

  • 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.

Source: TH

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