The antiviral drug umifenovir will soon enter phase 3 clinical trials for evaluation of its safety and efficacy in Indian patients against COVID-19. The CSIR constituent lab-Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI) Lucknow, recently received the permission for carrying out the trial of the antiviral drug, announced the health ministry.
Umifenovir is mainly used for the treatment of influenza in China and Russia. The drug acts by preventing entry of the virus into human cells and also by priming the immune system.
“..if the clinical trial is successful, umifenovir can be a safe, efficacious, affordable drug against COVID-19 and can be part of National Programme against COVID-19,” commented Prof Tapas Kundu, Director, CSIR-CDRI in a media statement.
The trials will be carried out at the King George’s Medical University (KGMU), Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences (RMLIMS) and ERA’s Lucknow Medical College & Hospital, Lucknow. The CDRI has developed the process technology for umifenovir and licensed it for manufacturing and marketing the drug to Medizest Pharmaceuticals, Goa. Medizest Pharma has already received a test license from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).