Express press service
HYDERABAD: If it hadn’t been confined to scientific journals, an innovation from IIT-Hyderabad researchers reported two years ago could have turned out to be a boon for the entire nation now – when thousands of people suffer from black fungal infection, associated with severe shortage. of the drug “Amphotericin B” needed to treat it.
In 2019, researchers at IIT-H’s Creative and Advanced Research Based on Nanomaterials (CARBON) Laboratory reported the technology to make amphotericin B in sustained-release tablet form, using gelatin nanofibers. In the past two years, none of the country’s pharmaceutical companies have advanced innovation by conducting clinical trials, obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals, and manufacturing the tablets.
For decades, amphotericin B has been a lifeline for thousands of patients around the world battling Kala Azar or fungal infections, including the dreaded black fungus. Amphotericin B is currently manufactured as an injection by a handful of pharmaceutical companies, and its use in the treatment of black fungus costs lakhs of rupees – a 50 mg vial costs almost Rs 4,000, and up to Rs 60. -100 vials are. Amphotericin B in tablet form is said to be significantly cheaper than injections – around 200 per 60 mg tablet, said Dr Chandra Shekhar Sharma, associate professor in the chemical engineering department at IIT-Hyderabad.
He and Dr Saptarshi Majumdar from the same department are the researchers behind the innovation. Dr Sharma added that the innovation had not even been patented, so it could remain accessible and used for the public good. Manufacturing the drug in tablet form would also make it easier to increase production to meet the high demand.