Tablet developed by IIT-H for Kala Azar promises treatment for black fungus

Even though an increase in so-called black fungus cases has triggered a severe shortage of amphotericin B injections, researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (Hyderabad) believe that a tablet developed to treat Kala Azar, also a disease fungal, can be reused. to treat mucormycosis.

The tablet, developed as a proof of concept in the Institute’s lab two years ago, is affordable and convenient to use, said Chandra Shekhar Sharma, associate professor in the chemical engineering department at IIT-H. Activity area.

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The researchers said they mimicked the chemical processes that take place in the body when the drug passes through the gastrointestinal tract in the lab, to test its effectiveness.

Cheaper alternative

The development of the 60 mg tablet cost the department around ₹ 200, which promises a significant reduction in the cost of treating the fungal disease. The patient should take three tablets per day.

In addition to facilitating its administration because it is taken orally, the tablet exhibits reduced nephro-toxicity (adverse effect of drugs and chemicals on the kidneys).

The institute is seeking partnerships with pharmaceutical companies to bring the drug to clinical trials by seeking authorization for emergency use and making it available for mass production. “In 2019, Saptarshi Majumdar and Chandra Shekhar Sharma from the institute’s chemical engineering department published a proven study on the oral nanofibrous AMB (amphotericin B) to treat Kala Azar,” Sharma said.

Kala Azar, also called Visceral leishmaniasis, is a disease where the parasite infects internal organs such as the liver.

“This is a very first attempt to manufacture nanofibrous amphotericin B oral tablets for the potential treatment of Kala Azar. With the two-year advancement of the review, researchers are now confident that the technology can be transferred to pharmaceutical partners for large-scale production, ”he said.

Need an immediate try

In view of the shortage of drugs to treat mucormycosis, the Institute believes that it is necessary to allow emergency use and immediate testing of this drug by the oral route.

“The technology developed is IP-free, which facilitates its mass production and makes it affordable to the general public,” said Sharma.

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