The Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) has transferred the technology of AYUSH-64, an “effective” drug in mild and asymptomatic and mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19, to 46 companies, a statement by the Ministry of AYUSH said recently.
Earlier, only seven companies, including IMPCL, the manufacturing unit of the Ministry of AYUSH, had its licence, which used it for the treatment of malaria.
After being found effective on coronavirus during the COVID-19 outbreak, 39 new companies have been given fresh licences i.e. technology has been transferred to them, the ministry said.
AYUSH-64 has been developed by CCRAS, which is the premier institution for research in Ayurveda under the Ministry of AYUSH.
The drug was developed in 1980 for the treatment of malaria. During the first wave of COVID-19 in March 2020, a few scientific studies found it to be effective in mild and asymptomatic and mild-to-moderate COVID-19 infections.
As per the ministry, it also holds the properties of fighting viruses, increases the body’s immunity and reduces fever, helping patients recover quickly.
During the first wave of COVID-19, a clinical trial was conducted with the Ministry of AYUSH and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), in which it was revealed that AYUSH-64 is “beneficial” medicine for COVID patients.
So far, eight clinical trials have been done on this, in which AYUSH-64 was administered on 63,000 patients quarantined at home, and the drug was found beneficial in this trial. There were five random and two single studies in eight clinical trials, where patients were given only AYUSH-64 medicine.
Before the first wave of COVID-19, seven companies including IMPCL, the manufacturing unit of the Ministry of AYUSH, were responsible for manufacturing AYUSH-64, but now the technology has been transferred to 39 companies, taking this figure to 46.
This move could lead to an increase in its production and will also make it easier to meet its demand. As per the ministry, to date, no case of side effects of AYUSH-64 have been reported, yet experts suggest taking it only after consulting the doctors.