India can easily do antiviral drug synthesis - Remdesivir: Former ICMR Director

India can easily do antiviral drug synthesis — Remdesivir — if allowed by US pharmaceutical big Gilead Sciences, Dr. Nirmal K Ganguly, former Director-General of the Indian Medical Research Council (ICMR), said on Saturday.

Updated: May 03, 2020 11:51 IST

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Hari Aditya

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Tags: India Corona

Proposal of Anti Viral Drug Synthesis

US-based medicinal pioneer Gilead Sciences, which created the product, is now investigating many options and talking to many Indian firms for free licensing this medication. "With little help from the government, this drug will be available very quickly. The synthesis of this drug is not very difficult. If Gilead allows, India can make it available and do its own trials as well. It is a big thing altogether," said Dr. Ganguly, while speaking to ANI, here on Saturday. "The antiviral was created to treat RNA viruses Marburg and Ebola. It, however, did not succeed then," he added.

Remdesivir is substantially a nucleotide, which prevents viral replication of the RNA contributing to no mutation. Perhaps notably, it may have less toxicity.

Commenting on the drawbacks of this drug, Dr. Ganguly said: "The only drawback noted so far is that it has to be given through infusion. It can neither be given as a tablet nor outside the hospital."

In a published study, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) found that the antiviral has a straight cut, meaningful, beneficial impact on 1,063 patients in decreasing the recovery period. In seven nations Gilead will hold a bigger trial soon.

"After the results are known, India will be able to use this drug as this is the largest randomized chemical trial," added Dr. Ganguly. "Hydroxychloroquine has an advantage of early viral load reduction if given to a normal person. However, in milder cases, close supervision is required. FDA has taken it out from the list of compulsory drugs owing to the deaths. Brazil and Sweden have banned it. However, it does not mean we cannot carry out trials with this drug," said Dr. Ganguly.

Since the advent of a global coronavirus pandemic, scientists, researchers, and medical professionals have been actively involved in studying COVID-19 patients seeking the most successful care. Antiviral medication Remdesivir may be the solution according to experts. Interestingly, all humans and animals with COVID-19 are handled successfully by Ramdesivir.