The world’s fourth-largest and a leading Indian drug-maker Sun Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd. told on Friday that they’re grappling with a potential plant-based treatment for CoVID-19, which is currently in the mid-stage trial, according to reports. The drug has reportedly crossed human safety trials and hence the rollover to the Phase-II of the study.
The potential drug termed AQCH is derived from an Asian climbing shrub called Cocculus hirsutus which is already used in the continent for its medicinal properties. The results of the mid-stage trials are awaited in October which will be conducted over 210 patients across 12 centers in India, according to the official statement obtained by Reuters.
Sun Pharma Managing Director Dilip Shanghvi was quoted as saying “this is the first phytopharmaceutical drug approved for clinical trials by the DCGI as a potential treatment for COVID-19.” The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved the trial in April.
A phytopharmaceutical drug is a drug derived from a minimum “four bio-active or phytochemical compounds” of a medicinal plant that can be used for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.
“AQCH has shown anti-SARS-CoV-2 effects in in-vitro studies conducted in collaboration with ICGEB, Italy. These results combined with information on mechanism of action through in-vitro and small animal studies give us the confidence to evaluate this potential treatment option for COVID-19 patients.”
There has been a significant rush around the world to develop a potential vaccine or treatment to fight the novel coronavirus that originated in China’s Wuhan city last year. So far, confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the globe are racing to touch 7 million with nearly 400k deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data.