India is one of the largest producers of Colchicine, and can provide it to the patients at an affordable cost if the clinical trials are successful
The trials are expected to be completed in 8-10 weeks
Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has given its approval to clinical trials for anti-inflammatory drug Colchicine in treating Covid-19 patients.
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Hyderabad-based Laxai Life Sciences will now undertake a two-arm phase-II clinical trial to ascertain safety and efficacy of the drug in improving clinical outcomes during the treatment of Covid-19 patients. CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad and CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), Jammu will be the partner institutes in this trial.
Back in January, researchers in Canada had first discovered that Colchicine could be used to Covid-19 patients, where is reduced chances of death and hospitalisation by 21 per cent in comparison to placebo. Colchicine is originally used to treat gout, a complex form of arthritis that occurs when too much uric acid accumulates in joints. This drug works by decreasing swelling and build-up of uric acid crystals.
Colchicine in combination with standard of care will be an important therapeutic intervention for Covid patients with cardiac co-morbidities and also for reducing proinflammatory cytokines, leading to faster recovery, noted Dr Ram Vishwakarma, advisor to DG-CSIR.
A number of global studies have confirmed now that cardiac complications during course of COVID-19 infections and post-covid syndrome are leading to loss of many lives, and it is essential to look for new or repurposed drugs, he further added.
Dr S Chandrasekhar, Director CSIR-IICT, Hyderabad, and Dr D S Reddy, Director, CSIR-IIIM, Jammu, said that they are looking forward to this Phase II clinical efficacy trial on Colchicine, which may lead to life-saving intervention in the management of hospitalised patients.
Dr Ram Upadhayay, CEO, Laxai Life Sciences, informed that the enrollment of patients has already begun at multiple sites across India for the Colchicine trial, which is likely to be completed in the next 8-10 weeks. This drug can be made available to large population of India based on the results of this trial and regulatory approval, he further added.