THD NewsDesk, Jammu: The Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine of Jammu (IIIM) is currently conducting trials of 3-4 formulations of drugs to develop a comprehensive COVID-19 drug as per the announcement of a senior official. The statement has mentioned of a collaboration of the institute with the Ayush ministry and industry.
The institute is also toiling to validate a new machine-less COVID-19 detection kit, which is currently in the final test phase.
“For Covid-19, we are undergoing clinical trials. In collaboration with Ayush ministry and industry, we are involved in it. Three to four clinical trials are going in different plant species with regard to COVID-19 drugs on 3 to 4 formulations,” Director CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), Dr. D Srinivasa Reddy said.
In light of the ongoing pandemic, Dr. Reddy said that the initial and most important task at hand is to test COVID-19 samples. Reddy recently acquired the position of the director of IIIM for the upcoming 6-year tenure.
“We started testing in the first week of April, in collaboration with Government Medical College (GMC), Jammu. We have completed over 40,000 samples to date,” he said. He further added, “We are in the process of increasing the number of samples tested,”.
The institute has furthered the strive for a new drug formulation for immunity boosting. The used drugs are based on Zinc Gluconate and organic Vitamin C extracted from Acerola Cherry, Reddy claimed.
“Our scientists have made significant progress on this activity and one of the processes has been demonstrated to an industry partner in Jammu,” said Reddy.
In response to a question about the working of the institution lab, he said that the IIM laboratory is a very conducive space for productive work. The location is known for its biodiversity and presence of exquisite medicinal and aromatic plants. He mentioned that everything is readily available under one roof for plant-based or ‘new chemical entity’ based drugs.
“It has got rich biodiversity in the region which is known for medicinal and aromatic plants. It has a diverse scientist pool with expertise and experience from various functions. I see a lot of opportunities here,” Reddy answered.
He further highlighted the prominence of the institute’s potential of leading programs of national importance in the future. He also remarked about the established assets and the natural product extracts library of the institute that would be opened for other future researches.
“There are high-value medicinal and aromatic plants, (but) they seem to be facing problems in the supply chain, in particular, for the international markets. The IIIM can put more effort in that direction”, he added.
While the country suffers from the wrath of the novel coronavirus, it is relieving to witness the advancements in science and technology and the potential that the country harbors to battle future health epidemics.