The Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI) said that the clinical trials of an antiviral drug named Umifenovir has been a successful exercise. The drug can be used in treatment of Covid-19.
The Umifenovir was tested on 132 Covid patients and it showed that, if the proper dose is given twice daily for five days, the drug can reduce the viral load to zero in mild or moderate symptomatic and asymptomatic patients by stopping multiplication of the virus.
The clinical trial was conducted at KGMU, Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences and Era's Lucknow Medical College and Hospital.
CDRI director Prof Tapas Kundu said, "Since Umifenovir is a broad-spectrum antiviral and is being used as a safe over-the-counter drug for influenza and pneumonia for over 20 years in Russia, China and other countries. The first two trials were not mandatory."
"The CDRI, therefore, directly went for phase-III trial, conducted on 132 patients either admitted in hospital or in home quarantine under the supervision of these hospitals," the CDRI director said.
"In a study, double-blind mode improves reliability of results by preventing bias when doctors evaluate patient outcomes. The results showed that viral load in mild, moderate or asymptomatic patients after being given two doses of Umifenovir (800mg), twice a day, became zero in an average of five days. Patients did not experience any side-effects and their symptoms also did not turn severe," he said.
The drug also showed that it inhibits the entry of SARS-Cov2 virus into human cells.