Bengaluru oncologist claims to be close to an effective treatment for Covid-19: Report
A Bengaluru based doctor claims to have developed an effective treatment for coronavirus which could be ready for trials by this weekend, a news agency reported.
The treatment involves retriggering of the immune system which gets compromised after a person is infected by Sars-Cov-2 virus, said the doctor. He clarified that the medicine which was under preparation was “not a vaccine”.
“We have built a concoction of cytokines which can be injected to reactivate immune system in Covid-19 patients. We’re in a very initial stage & hope to be ready with its first set by this weekend,” ANI quoted oncologist Vishal Rao as saying.
Rao added that an application had been made to the government for an expedited review of the possible treatment.
The development comes on a day when the health ministry announced participation in a WHO-led trial of a medicine along with other steps to deal with the health emergency on a war footing.
The Bengaluru Cancer specialist said human body cells release interferon chemical to kill viruses which can’t be released when someone is infected with Sars-Cov-2 which weakens the immune system. He added that that interferon was also effective against coronavirus.
“We got hold of some preprint suggesting that interferon is effective in Covid-19,” Rao was quoted as saying.
He further described how the medicine containing interferon could be prepared for treating the infected.
“When we withdraw blood for regular check-ups, we get buffy coat which can be used to take out cells and form interferon. These two chemicals and some other cytokines, in a specific concoction, could be potentially very useful in treating Covid-19 patients,” Rao told ANI.
According to a research, published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, several approaches to treat Covid-19 were being developed, including blocking the virus from entering human cells, disrupting its replication, suppressing the human immune response and vaccines, said another agency report.
The study says Sars-Cov-2 is easily transmissible due to the spike proteins on its surface which bind efficiently to the molecule “angiotensin-converting enzyme 2” (ACE2) on the surfaces of human cells.
As of now, the researchers say, the most promising antiviral for fighting Sars-Cov-2 is Remdesivir, which blocks its replication as seen in laboratories. However, they said more data on its effectiveness is needed.
The scientists also noted that Tilarone, an antiviral, may also be effective against Sar-Cov-2. This medicine is used in some Russian Federation countries against multiple viruses, including acute respiratory viral infection, influenza, and hepatitis, it added.
Several countries are conducting researches to develop an effective vaccine and treatment for coronavirus disease at the moment.
The Union health ministry on Friday said the government was procuring ventilators in huge numbers to prepare for a rapid escalation in the number of positive cases requiring treatment.
“We have given an order to a PSU to provide 10,000 ventilators. Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has also been requested to purchase 30,000 additional ventilators in the next 1-2 months,” Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary of the Union health ministry said.