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CSIR Institute to conduct clinical trials of Umifenovir


The Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Lucknow has received permission for carrying out Phase III trials for the use of Umifenovir against Covid-19. These trials will be randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled that will test the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of the drug.

  • The CSIR is evaluating Mycobacterium W (Mw) for faster recovery of hospitalized Covid-19 infected patients.
  • The clinical trial of the Favipiravir drug has also been allowed by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).

Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trials:

  • Randomized trials mean that subjects are randomly assigned to placebo and intervention groups.
    • Placebo is anything that looks like a real treatment but it is actually not. for example sugar pills and saline injections.
  • Double-blind means that neither the patients nor the researchers know who is getting a placebo and who is getting the treatment. This ensures that the result of trials is not affected by the biases of researchers and patients.
  • Placebo-controlled trials refer to a control group receiving a placebo. This sets it apart from studies that simply give participants treatment and record the results.
    • Here, a control group is given a placebo while another group is given the drug (or other treatment) being studied. That way, researchers can compare the drug's effectiveness against the placebo's effectiveness.

Working of Umifenovir:

  • Umifenovir inhibits membrane fusion of the influenza virus. Umifenovir prevents contact between the virus and target host cells.
  • The fusion between the viral envelope and the cell membrane of the target cell is inhibited. This prevents viral entry to the target cell and therefore protects it from infection.
  • The drug is manufactured by Pharmstandard


  • Improve Immune System: It acts by preventing entry of the virus into human cells and also by priming the immune system.
  • Indigenously Developed: All the raw materials for the drug are indigenously available and if the clinical trial is successful, Umifenovir can be a safe, efficacious, affordable drug against Covid-19.
  • Safe: Umifenovir has already been used for the treatment of influenza in China and Russia and therefore is safe. It recently came into prominence due to its potential use for Covid-19 patients. The clinical trial is to evaluate its efficacy in Indian patients.
  • Prophylactic Use: It has the potential for prophylactic use. A prophylactic is a medication or a treatment designed and used to prevent a disease from occurring.

Source: The Hindu