NovaLead Pharma to conduct clinical trials for repurposed drug for COVID-19

Drug repurposing firm NovaLead Pharma on Thursday said it has received approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to conduct phase III clinical trials for its repurposed drug discovery to treat moderate COVID-19.

The drug codenamed NLP21, is in human use for several years for its original approved usage without any side effects of concern, NovaLead Pharma said in a statement.

Drug repurposing is investigating an approved drug for new therapeutic purposes.

"NLP21 shows promising ability of acting on COVID-19 through multiple relevant targets. This enables NLP21 not only to prevent virus binding to the human cells and reduce the viral load but also clear damaged human cells to allow regeneration of healthier cells," NovaLead Pharma CEO Supreet Deshpande said.

The company is masking the name of the drug, because there is a risk that public may try to consume it even before the clinical trial is completed, as this drug is readily available off the shelf, he added.

This study will be on 100-150 hospitalized patients who presently need oxygen support. In this study where the patient will remain in trial for a maximum of 21 days, the statement said.

The company expects the trial to be completed in next 3-4 months, it added.

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Free Press Journal