Indian government identifies 500 companies to develop drugs to fight pandemic COVID-19

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Ritika Pathak

, Health, Special

As an effort to map coronavirus disease related technology, the Government of India has identified at least 500 entities in the field of diagnostics, drugs, ventilators — to bolster its capacity and contain the spread of the pandemic in the nation.

In spite of early precautions and 21-day countrywide lockdown, there has been a continuous rise in the number of Covid-19 positive cases in the country, which now stand at about 1600+ with 45 deaths.

The government recently said, at least 200 proposals have been received in the past one week, from which over 20 entities are under active consideration for support in the first phase, to manage the disease outbreak.

The manufacturing capacity of the first indigenous kit developed by Pune-based NovaLead Pharma is being scaled up to produce nearly one lakh kits per week. Additionally, a manufacturing facility has been set up in Vishakapatnam, which would develop ventilators, testing kits, imaging equipment, among others, said the health ministry in a statement.

Regulatory approvals would be given for all diagnostics drugs and vaccines as the research on therapeutic and drug development has already begun. NovaLead Pharma that specializes in drug repurposing, has identified the components that may be helpful against the pandemic COVID-19.

The company, in a statement said that it has identified the drugs that can be effective against the SARS-Cov2, virus behind Covid-19. If the drugs are found to be effective against Covid 19, it can save millions of lives as these are already approved and proven to be safe for human consumption.

Dr Sudhir Kulkarni, head of research, NovaLead Pharma, said, our discoveries so far include drugs that seem as an effective treatment either by directly attacking the virus proteins or minimising the spread by strengthening the human proteins. If this turns out to be successful, it can save lives and prevent cases from turning critical.

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