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HYDERABAD: In a significant development, city researchers have successfully completed trials for dengue drug on animals and have now approached the Clinical Trials Registry-India (CTRI) for testing it on humans.
Once approved by the CTRI, clinical trials on the novel drug for dengue will be conducted at AIIMS, Delhi.
The researchers have also applied for registration of an international patent for the new drug. So far, there is no known cure for dengue.
The viral disease is primarily treated based on symptoms. There is a vaccine for prevention of dengue.
A team from GITAM University, Hyderabad, conducted research on the dengue drug, which was sponsored by the department of science and technology, government of India.
‘There’s no med to treat dengue’
Lead researcher, Dr Rambabu Gundla, who is a professor and former head of department, chemistry, GITAM University, said they embarked upon a mission to find new drugs for the viral disease, as there is no medicine to treat dengue fever presently.
“Using computer-aided drug formulation, we have designed drug-like compounds against the dengue virus. We have synthesized the new drug compounds in collaboration with the Translation Health Science and Technology Institute, one of the DBT’s institutes, to execute biological activities of the project,” Dr Rambabu told STOI.
He said after receiving promising results, they have filed for an international patent (PCT) on the new drug.
“Currently, the drug-like compounds are in pre-clinical studies and clinical studies will be conducted at AIIMS,” he said. “Very soon, we will develop the medicine to treat dengue,” he asserted.
M Venkatanarayana Chowdary, who is part of the research study, said pharmacological compounds capable of directly inhibiting the function of viral RdRp (RNA-dependent RNA polymerase), a type of gene, or directly acting anti-virals (DAAs), can potentially function as either nucleoside inhibitors or non-nucleoside inhibitors (NNIs).
“Replication of the virus induces generation of inflammatory response in the host causing ‘cytokine storm’, which has been implicated as the aetiology behind the severe symptoms associated with dengue virus infection. We have developed compounds with increased biological-active decreased cytotoxicity (cell toxicity ),” he said.
As part of the research, 65 thiazole-linked oxindole sulphonamide derivatives were synthesized and two lead NNIs of dengue virus with no cytotoxic effect were derived.
There are no specific inhibitors available to treat dengue so far.