Researchers at DU’s Hansraj College develop anti-COVID-19 molecule

A team of researchers at Hansraj College, University of Delhi has claimed to have developed a novel drug molecule with high potency against COVID-19. The development has been observed at a time when researches across the world are trying to find a vaccine or a prophylactic for the coronavirus.

Instead of blindly screening molecules, which is a long-term task and is expensive, the team led by Dr. Brijesh Rathi performed extensive in-silico studies. Subsequently, testing of the components was carried out at Loyola University Chicago and the University of New Mexico, USA against SARS-CoV-2 in culture.

Dr. Brijesh Rathi is an assistant professor in the Chemistry Department of Hansraj College. Encouraged with the results, Dr. Rathi along with his research collaborators, Prof. Ravi Durvasula, Dr. P Kempaiah from Loyola University Chicago, and Dr. Steven Bradfute from the University of New Mexico, USA have jointly filed US provisional patent application, namely, “Calxinin Compositions and Method for Treating Viral Infections”.

Negotiations have also been progressed with the UK-based company ‘Redcliffe Bioscience’ for the clinical trials of Calxinin, and the team is hopeful to shortly deliver a drug candidate against this virus. Rathi said, “We have almost completed the pre-clinical studies of this molecule. We have tied up with Redcliffe Bioscience to find a drug and it has agreed to take this forward for clinical studies at the fastest speed. We have met half the challenge and expect the remaining half to be successfully dealt with by the company shortly”, the Times of India reported.

Redcliffe Bioscience issued a letter of intent on May 29 which reads, “This Letter of Intent is designed to foster cooperation with Hansraj College (University of Delhi), Loyola University Chicago and University of New Mexico, USA. Our UK-based company ‘Redcliffe Bioscience Ltd.’ is in agreement with these signees to take their patented new antiviral molecule (named as ‘Calxinin’) for the clinical trials and to develop it as an anti-COVID drug at the fastest speed.”

The UK-based company further added, “We understand that this anti-COVID molecule was developed at Laboratory for Translational Chemistry and Drug Discovery, Hansraj College (University of Delhi) by the group led by Dr. Brijesh Rathi and would be very happy to collaborate with his group in future endeavours.”

Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is unceasingly increasing its facilities by giving approval to government and private laboratories to conduct tests for the coronavirus disease. Till now, a total of 681 laboratories across the country have been given the approval to conduct the test for COVID-19. These approved laboratories include 476 government laboratories and 205 private laboratories’ chains.

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