June 1 (Prensa Latina) India will carry out clinical trials in six of its hospitals for Cuba’s Itolizumab med to reduce the mortality of Covid-19 disease; unfolded local press this Monday.
The Itolizumab drug is a molecule developed by the Havana Center for Molecular Immunology for the treatment of lymphomas and leukemias, and is now encouraged by Cuban experts as a possible therapy in the Covid-19 treatment, revealed The Print newspaper.
India’s largest biotech company and Asia’s leader Biocon recently received permission from the Indian drug regulator to use the med against the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘Itolizumab had been used in India for some years and its safety was established. Our partners in Cuba, with whom the company began developing the drug, used it in Covid-19 patients. The initial data look quite promising,’ said Dr. Sandeep Athalye, senior Vice President and Chief Medical Director at Biocon Biologics.
The company licensed the drug as an early-stage asset, and the company’s scientific team began developing the antibody for autoimmune diseases in 2006 in India.
Later, successful patient studies made possible the medicine be approved for marketing in India to treat plaque psoriasis in 2013 under the brand name Alzumab.
The drug inhibits the production of proinflammatory cytokines, which lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome and multi-organ failure in Covid-19 patients. We believe that cytokine storm, which is a complication of the disease, can be treated with Itolizumab, Athalye added.
The trials will be held in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore for at least three months and all outcomes will be posted to researchers and participants on the course of the treatment.
The Print journal highlighted on its website that the use of two drugs produced by the Cuban biotechnology industry decrease hyper inflammation in severely ill Covid-19 patients; as a result, drastically reduced deaths from the disease.
Of the two drugs boosted as likely reasons behind the low mortality, one of them is Itolizumab.
Cuban researchers say the drug appears to help calm the cytokine storm, a dangerous response by the immune system that attacks healthy tissues, noted the Print daily.
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