Sepsivac to be Tested for Covid-19 | 22 Apr 2020

Why in News

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has decided to test its new drug against Sepsis, named Sepsivac to treat critical patients of Covid-19.

  • The drug will be tested in 50 Covid-19 patients at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi and Bhopal, and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh.

Key Points

  • New Drug Against Sepsis
    • The new drug has recently been approved for marketing in India and would be available commercially as Sepsivac® from Ahmedabad-based Cadila Pharmaceuticals Limited.
    • The pharmaceutical company was supported by CSIR laboratories led by Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), Jammu in development of this drug, which has also been found effective for leprosy patients.
  • Gram Negative Sepsis and Covid-19
    • Sepsis is a serious life-threatening condition caused when the body's response to any kind of infection goes out of balance, triggering changes that can lead to multi-organ failure.
    • Gram negative bacteremia (presence of bacteria in the bloodstream) in the critically ill patient is synonymous with gram negative sepsis.
      • Gram-negative bacteria have built-in abilities to find new ways to be resistant and can pass along genetic materials that allow other bacteria to become drug-resistant as well.
    • According to scientists, there are some clinical similarities between patients suffering from gram-negative Sepsis and Covid-19.
    • A Covid-19 infection leads to a cytokine storm, quite similar to the one seen in Sepsis, when there is a heightened immune response and over production of immune cells because of which the body starts attacking its own cells. There is inflammation and it reduces the lung's capacity to absorb oxygen.
  • Effectiveness of Sepsivac
    • Previous randomised trials in sepsis patients showed 11% absolute reduction and 55.5% relative reduction in mortality. Sepsivac reduces the days on ventilator, in ICU and hospital and incidence of secondary infection.
    • The drug uses the Mycobacterium w (formally known as mycobacterium indicus pranii) as it produces a different immune-system response.
      • The United States and Australia are also going to start testing the efficacy of the BCG, or tuberculosis vaccine, that also employs a different strain of mycobacterium, in health care workers at the frontline of treating Covid-19 patients.
  • CSIR’s Plan for Mycobacterium w
    • CSIR has also planned to evaluate Mw for faster recovery of hospitalised Covid-19 infected patients and minimise the spread of disease through them as well for providing preventive treatment (prophylaxis) to persons coming in contact with Covid-19 infected patients like family members and health care workers.

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research

  • CSIR was established by the Government of India in September 1942 as an autonomous body.
  • It is known for its cutting edge R&D knowledge base in diverse S&T areas.
  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has been ranked first in the Nature Ranking Index-2020.
    • The Nature Index provides a close to real-time proxy of high-quality research output and collaboration at the institutional, national and regional level.

Source: TH