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CSIR Begins Phase-II Trial for Niclosamide Drug as COVID-19 Treatment

Niclosamide has been extensively used in the past for the treatment of tapeworm’s infection in both adults and children.

A student receives COVID-19 vaccine dose during a special vaccination drive organised by the Karnataka government for the students (Photo Credit: PTI)

New Delhi: The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Laxai Life Sciences on Sunday (June 6) initiated Phase-II clinical trial for anti-helminitic drug Niclosamide for treatment of COVID-19.

The trial is a multi-centric, phase-II, randomised, open label clinical study to evaluate the efficacy, safety and tolerability of Niclosamide for the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Niclosamide has been extensively used in the past for the treatment of tapeworm’s infection in both adults and children. The safety profile of this drug has been tested over time and has been found safe for human consumption at different dose levels.

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Dr Shekhar C Mande, Director General, CSIR expressed happiness over the SEC recommendations to conduct this Phase II clinical trial using Niclosamide, which is generic, affordable drug and easily available in India.

Dr Srivari Chandrashekhar, Director CSIR-IICT Hyderabad highlighted that the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) made by Laxai Life Sciences, is based on improved technology developed at IICT and the lab is a partner in this important clinical trial which could provide cost effective therapeutic options for patients if the trial is successful.

Dr Ram Upadhayaya, CEO, Laxai said that realizing the potential of Niclosamide, efforts were initiated last year itself to undertake clinical trials. After having received approval from drug regulator, the clinical trial has been initiated this week at different sites and is expected that the trial will be completed within 8-12 weeks.

(With inputs from ANI)

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