MGM college seeks govt nod for WHO (ICMR) Solidarity Trial

Indore: Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College has sought permission from the state government to be the part of World Health Organization (WHO)-India (ICMR) Solidarity Trial for the emergency treatment of COVID patients.

College has dashed off a letter to the Principal Secretary of Medical Education Department for seeking permission for the same and also mentioned that clinical trials were banned by the government in 2016 due to which the permission is required to conduct the Solidarity Trial.

The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has fast-tracked the roll out of the global 'Solidarity' trial launched by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to help in finding an effective treatment for Covid-19.

'Solidarity' is an international clinical trial to compare four treatment options against the standard of care to assess their relative effectiveness against Covid-19.

The trial will evaluate four treatment protocols — Remdesivir, a combination of Lopinavir and Ritonavir, Hydroxychloroquine, and Lopinavir and Ritonavir with Interferon beta-1a.

Secretary, Department of Health Research and Director General of ICMR, Professor Dr Balram Bhargava selected the ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute, NARI as the national coordination site for the trial in India.

“It is a WHO-ICMR multi-centric trial and they asked MGM Medical COllege to be one of the centres. We have sought permission from the government for the same and will allow trial only after getting the same,” Dean of MGM Medical College Dr Jyoti Bindal said.

Chirayu Hospital in Bhopal has already got the permission for the Solidarity trial.

Drugs used in Solidarity trial (WHO)

Remdesivir: It was previously tested as an Ebola treatment. It has generated promising results in animal studies for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) which are also caused by coronaviruses, suggesting it may have some effect in patients with COVID-19.

Lopinavir/Ritonavir: It is a licensed treatment for HIV. Evidence for COVID-19, MERS and SARS is yet to show it can improve clinical outcomes or prevent infection. This trial aims to identify and confirm any benefits in COVID-19 patients.

Interferon beta-1a: It is used to treat multiple sclerosis.

Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine: It is closely related and used to treat malaria and rheumatology conditions, respectively. In China and France, small studies provided some indications of possible benefit of chloroquine phosphate against pneumonia caused by COVID-19 but need confirmation through randomized trials.

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