Coronavirus (COVID19): Updates

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals had launched FabiFlu, India’s first COVID-19 drug

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals had launched FabiFlu, an antiviral drug Favipiravir, to cure patients with mild to moderate coronavirus at a price tag of about Rs 103 per tablet. FabiFlu would be available in the form of a 200 mg tablet and will be at a maximum retail price (MRP) of Rs 3,500 for a strip of 34 tablets. It is the first oral favipiravir-approved medication for the treatment of COVID-19 in India. FabiFlu is a prescription-based medication with a recommended dose being at 1,800 mg twice daily on day one, followed by 800 mg twice daily up till day 14.

Cipla had launched Cipremi, a COVID-19 Antiviral Drug

Cipla had launched antiviral drug i.e., Cipremi for the treatment of COVID-19. Cipremi is available in the form of lyophilized powder (freeze dry) for injection 100mg. It has been approved for adult and pediatric patients who have been hospitalized. This drug has been granted regulatory approval by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for restricted emergency use in India as part of the accelerated approval process considering the urgent and unmet medical need. The clinical trials have demonstrated the efficacy of Cipremi for the patients on oxygen support after falling ill to coronavirus. 

United States provided $2 Billion to Novavax & Regeneron for Covid-19 Vaccine

The federal government awarded $2 billion to Novavax Inc. & Regeneron Pharmaceuticals for the development and manufacturing of an experimental drug and a potential vaccine against Covid-19. Novavax Inc. has received $1.6 billion from the federal government’ to fund clinical studies of its experimental coronavirus vaccine and establish large-scale manufacturing of doses. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. has received a $450 million federal contract to manufacture thousands of doses of its experimental Covid-19 treatment that the government would distribute for free to the public if the drug is authorized for use by regulators.

BioSig Technologies Collaborates with Albany Molecular for its Drug Merimepodib, a Coronavirus Treatment

BioSig Technologies had entered into the collaboration with Albany Molecular Research Inc to evaluate the merimepodib for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. Under the terms of the collaboration, both companies would evaluate the drug as a standalone treatment and in combination with other antiviral agents or immune modulators. This collaboration would help in rapid transfer, scale-up and validation of merimepodib API manufacture as the future supply chain and commercialization strategy.

Hetero Receive the Approval to Produce & Market Remdesivir

Indian pharmaceutical firm Hetero had received approval from the Drug Controller General of India to manufacture and market the experimental antiviral drug remdesivir for the treatment of coronavirus. Hetero’s generic version of Remdesivir would be sold under the brand name Covifor in India. Covifor would be available in 100 mg vials that would be injected into the patient at a hospital facility under the proper supervision of a doctor or trained healthcare worker. The drug would be launched in India under a licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences Inc, an American biopharmaceutical firm, to expand access to Covid-19 medication in poor countries.

Mateon Therapeutics Secured a $2 Million Financing with Golden Mountain Partners (GMP) to Conduct Clinical Trial Evaluating OT-101 against COVID-19

Mateon Therapeutics had secured a $2 million in debt financing with Golden Mountain Partners (GMP) for the conduct of a clinical trial evaluating OT-101 against COVID-19. OT-101 is an antisense against the host TGF-β protein required for viral replication and its overexpression likely to cause the wide range of clinical symptoms associated with COVID-19 including Kawasaki syndrome.

Emerging Diagnostic Test Products For Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Over the last few months, the coronavirus outbreak has spread to various countries such as China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, the United States, and other countries. It has endangered thousands of lives in a short span of time. Hence, several diagnostic companies have been focused on the development of promising diagnostic test products to expedite the diagnosis process as quickly as possible to save the lives of people.

The pipeline landscape of the coronavirus detection is robust with the involvement of several diagnostic test products such as PANDAA qDx SARS-CoV-2, RabWiz Ultra-Sensitive COIV-19 Viral Antigen Test Kit (ELISA) & AiroStotleCV19 (Breath VOCs), etc. Below is a list of the company and its product descriptions and key information for all the emerging diagnostic test products

Canary Health Technologies: AiroStotleCV19 (Breath VOCs)

Canary Health Technologies has developed AiroStotleCV19 (Breath VOCs), a highly sensitive, specific, non-invasive and cost-effective test using VOCs analysis as a result of oxidative stress offers a potentially powerful new approach to early diagnosis COVID-19

Aurora Biomed Inc.: SARS-COV-2 Detection Kit

SARS-COV-2 Detection Kit for the VERSA Viral Detection workstation involved in targeting genes includes ORF1ab and N gene and produces 24 tests per kit. It shows a detection limit in 200copies per mL. However, positive and negative test control is also used to monitor the test accuracy.

GNA Biosolutions GmbH: SARS-CoV-2 Detection Kit

GNA Biosolutions GmbH has developed the SARS-CoV-2 Detection Kit on a portable PCA Analyzer which comprised of an instrument and disposable test chips. The test would run on the neo system whichamplifies and detects genetic material and can be used to test eight samples at a time. Moreover, it can also provide analysis within 15-25 minutes.

FluroTest LLC: CompleTest Platform Technology

FluroTest LLC uses the CompleTest platform technology to test for a range of viruses including COVID-19, as well as accurately determining the viral load.  Additionally, FluroTest ‘s technology can be adapted to allow for the detection of specific anti-SARS-CoV-2 human antibodies in blood samples, potentially confirming the development of immunity. Once developed, both tests would be administered at point-of-collection with results expected to be available in less than 15 minutes.

Attomarker Ltd: Immuno-Kinetic Assay for Covid-19

Attomarker Ltd has Developed the Quantitative Immuno-kinetic assay for Covid-19 IgG+IgM+IgA for a multiantigen panel with CRP (automated) which relies on detecting virus RNA in a swab sample from the patient’s throat or nose. It is a Portable device Attomarker Liscar which comprised of 4 bench-top instruments, each providing results in just ten minutes.

Emerging Diagnostic Products Landscape for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Company Name/ SponsorsProduct Test TypeProduct Description
Academia Sinica  Anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein human IgM/IgG rapid detection kitSimple detection procedure Only 15- 20 minutes
Access Bio Korea, Inc. CareStart COVID-19 IgM/IgGThe device is designed to amplify a total of two unique target genes of SARS-CoV-2 to improved sensitivity and with its high sensitivity
AIVD Biotech Inc. COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test (colloidal gold-based)OEM onlyResults within 10-15 min
Aldatu Biosciences PANDAA qDx SARS-CoV-2 Real-time PCR detection of COVID-19 Disease
Ativa Medical Ativa Enhanced ScreenMiniaturized low-cost diagnostic testsImmediate lab-quality results
Attomarker Ltd Quantitative Immuno-kinetic assay for Covid-19 IgG+IgM+IgA for a multiantigen panel with CRP (automated) It relies on detecting virus RNA in a swab sample from the patient’s throat or nosePortable Attomarker Liscar  bench-top instrument, each providing results in just ten minute
Aura Biotechnologies Ltd 
Quick COVID-19 Colorimetric LAMP PCRFast and simple yet accurate detection for coronavirusTakes 30 minutes’ assay
Aurora Biomed Inc. SARS-COV-2 Detection Kit for the VERSA Viral Detection workstation Target genes: ORF1ab and N gene200 copies per mL detection limitPositive and negative controls to monitor test accuracy24 tests per kit
Beijing Infervision Technology Co. Ltd InferRead CT PneumoniaCT-AI Based model is efficient and reliable
Canary Health Technologies AiroStotleCV19 (Breath VOCs)A highly sensitive, specific, non-invasive and cost-effective test using VOCs analysis as a result of oxidative stress offers a potentially powerful new approach to early diagnosis COVID-19
DNA Software, Inc. Upper Respiratory Virus Panel, multiplex PCR, COVID-19, Influenza A BAutomated consensus design of multiple variants of DNA or RNA targets
FemtoDx COVID-19 Antibody TestAt Home testThe test will take under 5 minutesEasy to use the device
FemtoDx COVID-19 Rapid Home Nucleic Acid Test At Home testThe test will take under 5 minutesEasy to use the device
FluroTest LLC Complete TestCompleTest platform technology to test for a range of viruses including COVID-19, as well as accurately determining the viral load.
Fluxergy LLCFluxergy Sample-to-Answer SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCRA point-of-use device capable of comprehensive laboratory
Genedrive plc Genedrive 96 SARS-CoV-2 Kit The assay combines Genedrive’s PCR chemistry integrated with Cytiva’s LyoStable stabilization technology.
GNA Biosolutions GmbH SARS-CoV-2 Detection Kit on portable PCA AnalyzerThe system amplifies and detects genetic material and can be used to test eight samples at a timeProvide analysis within 15-25 minutes  
AB Diagnostic Systems GmbH abia SARS-CoV-2 AbThe world’s easiest to use a range of diagnostic kits for HIV, hepatitis A, B, C, D, E infections, SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), prenatal diagnostics (TORCH), hormones (thyroid, fertility), tumor markers and moreCompletely recyclable
Abwiz BioRabWiz Ultra Sensitive COIV-19 Viral Antigen Test Kit (ELISA)It can play a critical role in the development of next-generation COVID-19 diagnostic toolsHighly-specific SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies

Incorrect recommendations or information regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Incorrect Recommendations or Information Regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Now-a-days the several recommendations and information regarding the (COVID-19) coronavirus are being shared on social media including Facebook, WhatsApp, twitters, and others. A wide majority of these tips and information is based on false or unsubstantiated claims.

The Geneva health authorities have provided the list of the incorrect recommendations or information regarding the (COVID-19) coronavirus being shared. Here are the key list of these incorrect recommendations or information as follows:

Does a person without symptoms carrying the coronavirus is contagious?

According to the studies, people without symptoms are not the potential sources of contamination. The coronavirus infection spread mainly through respiratory droplets expelled by the people who cough. Sick people are most contagious when they are most symptomatic. There is no sufficient studies regarding the whether asymptomatic people infected with the new coronavirus are contagious or how long they are contagious before symptoms appear.

Will the virus die if exposed to temperatures of 26-27°C?

There are not any studies confirming that the climate or temperatures have an impact on the spread of coronavirus. Thus, it is impossible to say that spring or summer heat can literally kill a virus.

Does hot liquid neutralizes the virus?

It has been observed that drinking hot water or the frequency of water consumption has no effect on the coronavirus. It is not necessary to change the temperature of the water you drink. It is essential to drink water not just for killing the coronavirus.

Can coronavirus survive on inert surfaces for about 6 to 12 hours?

Various studies have shown that the coronaviruses can exist on surfaces from up to a few hours to several days depending on the different parameters such as surface type, temperature or humidity.

Does eating more ginger, garlic, pepper, etc. protects against coronavirus?

Eating ginger, garlic, pepper does not fight specifically against the coronavirus. These foods have virtues for the body.

One must hold your breath to find out if you are infected with the coronavirus. Holding one’s breath for more than 10 seconds without coughing, discomfort, congestion or tightness would prove that there is no fibrosis in the lungs and therefore no infection.

There is no scientific evidence to support this assertion. Only a laboratory test can confirm infection with the new coronavirus.

Does drinking water and gargling cure COVID-19?

Saltwater is effective in relieving the sore throat. People are advised to drink water to stay hydrated when they are sick with the flu or the novel coronavirus. Drinking does not eliminate the coronavirus in any way.

Dogs and cats can transmit the coronavirus?

There are not any studies demonstrating the transmission of the coronavirus through the dogs and cats.

Rinsing the nose regularly protects against coronavirus infection?

There are not any studies demonstrating the rinsing your nose with a saline solution protects against coronavirus infection.

Does coronavirus only affect vulnerable people?

Coronavirus can affect the people of any age-group. Elderly people and people with pre-existing conditions such as asthma, diabetes, chronic lung disease, cancer, heart disease, etc are at high risk of developing the coronavirus infection. Hence, people are advised to take measures to protect themselves from the virus through social distance of at least 2 meters, regular and meticulous hand washing, good respiratory hygiene, etc.

Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating coronavirus infection?

Antibiotics do not work against viruses but are effective against only bacteria. The antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment. If one is hospitalized for infection with CoV-2-CASR then one can receive antibiotics as the bacterial co-infection is possible.

Can Chloroquine cures COVID-19?

There is no drug effective for the treatment of COVID-19. Some treatments are tested in numerous research protocols worldwide. Hence, Chloroquine treatment is currently reserved for patients in hospital settings or as part of a research protocol.

Are fabric masks an efficient substitute for surgical masks?

Fabric masks not efficient substitutes for surgical masks. In fact, surgical masks are the only masks where there is scientific data regarding filtration efficiency and airtightness.  Fabric masks or other hand-made masks do not provide the bearer with any proven protection against coronavirus. Further, it is recommended that medical masks must be worn only by health staff members. FFP2 masks are required only if the presence of COVID-19 is suspected in a patient and if a high level of aerosol formation is expected during a medical procedure. Healthy people should not wear medical masks or surgical masks in the public. Healthy people must prefer fabric masks in the public.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preventive Measures

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preventive Measures

The novel Coronavirus (COVID2019) outbreak identified in China is causing global concern. It has spread to more than 200 countries worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO)’s live report, there are more than 13,00,000 confirmed cases of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Approximately, 74,306 number of people died due to the novel Coronavirus. The United States accounts for highest cases (363,321) followed by Spain (135,032), Italy (132,547), Germany (99,225) China (83,157) and France (73,488).

There are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. Several clinical trials are undergoing for evaluating the potential treatments. Hence, it is essential to prevent Coronavirus infection and slowing the rate of transmission.

“Prevention is better than cure”

Preventive measures for Coronavirus are as follows:

  • Wash Your Hands

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or clean them with alcohol-based hand rub

  • Avoid Close Contact

Maintain at least 1 metre distance with the people coughing or sneezing

  • Social Distancing & Stay Home

Stay home and Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people

  • Wear Facemask

Wear a facemask if you are sick

  • Cook Food

Cook food thoroughly

  • Elbow Coughing

Use Elbow to cough into it

  • Cleanliness

Clean frequently touch surfaces daily

  • Cover coughs and sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing

  • Avoid touching surfaces

Avoid touching doorknobs and banisters

World Health Day

World Health Day

Every year, World Health Day is celebrated on April 7 under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as other related organizations.

This year, World Health Day i.e. April 7, 2020, will focus on the vital role played by nurses and midwives in providing healthcare worldwide. It will highlight the current status of nursing across the globe. WHO and its partners would make a series of recommendations to strengthen the nursing and midwifery workforce.

This world health day, we pay tribute to the contribution of nurses and midwives for their vital role in keeping the world healthy. Nurses and other health workers who are at the frontlines in providing the treatment and care to patients suffering from novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak by putting their own health at risk to protect the community.

We are thankful for their commitment and hard work for saving lives!

Coronavirus Outbreak

Coronavirus Outbreak

Coronaviruses Description

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that lead to respiratory illness, including the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). It is common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and now with this new virus (named SARS-CoV-2). The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV.  All three of these viruses have their origins in bats. Similar infections are caused by human alpha and beta coronaviruses such as 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1.

The symptoms associated with coronavirus are the common cold, such as running nose, headache, cough, fever, and sore throat. Viruses can spread from human contact with animals. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), scientists think MERS started in camels. Officials do not yet know what animal may have caused the current outbreak in Wuhan.

Human-to-human transmission has been confirmed for the Wuhan coronavirus, but depending on how virulent the virus is, a cough, sneeze or handshake could cause exposure. The virus can also be transmitted by touching something an infected person has touched and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. Caregivers can sometimes be exposed by handling a patient’s waste, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Furthermore, SARS and MERS were largely transmitted inside hospitals. Some people are also considered to be “super spreaders.”

Current Scenario

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was first discovered in Wuhan, China in December 2019, since then, it has affected more than 400,000 people and caused 18,440 deaths according to the World Health Organization (WHO)’s recent situation report.

The seafood market of Wuhan was identified as the suspected hub of the coronavirus outbreak by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Now, there have been more new cases reported from countries outside of China than from China. Two new countries/territories/areas from the Western Pacific Region and the Eastern Mediterranean Region have reported cases of COVID-19.

The mysterious novel coronavirus outbreak was identified by Chinese authorities on January 7 and since named COVID-19, is a new strain that had not been previously identified in humans. The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak poses a significant life-threatening and economic risk throughout the world. Over 414,179 cases have been diagnosed across 48 countries, resulting in over 18,440 reported deaths. As far as concern, due to this contagious coronavirus outbreak death has been confirmed in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, France, Iran, Taiwan, South Korea, and other countries. On 31st January 2020, officially WHO has declared it a global health emergency, due to increases number of infectious cases has been confirmed in countries such as South Korea, Afghanistan, France, UAE, and many more countries.

The mortality rate is mostly within 2%~3%, well in line with the WHO official estimate. For example, MERS, SARS and the Wuhan coronavirus appear to cause more severe disease in older people Age group 60-69 years old at 3.6%, 50-59 years old at 1.4% & least 40-49 years old at 0.4%, though uncertainty remains around the latest outbreak. Of the cases of Wuhan coronavirus reported so far, none are yet confirmed to be among children.

Treatment Landscape

Several vaccines, antibiotics & anti-retroviral drugs such as FTNX-1800 (Tonix Pharmaceuticals), Leronlimab (CytoDyn), etc. are undergoing the clinical trials for coronavirus outbreak. Apart from this novel therapies, supportive therapy is also recommended including over the counter medicine for a sore throat, fever & pain reliever medications, etc. to relieve the symptoms, if happens. Additionally, drink plenty of fluids, get rest and sleep as much as possible is recommended.

Government Initiatives

The government has taken initiative to allocate the emergency funds for improving public health to curb the current global coronavirus outbreak. For instances, The Trump Administration is looking to allocate approximately $2.5 billion in emergency funds to help prepare the country should the current coronavirus crisis become a public health care threat in the U.S. Other governments and global health authorities are taking similarly aggressive steps to prepare for the virus’s continued spread. Furthermore, the UK government like Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced that £20m in Government funding will be given to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to advance programmes targeting the coronavirus.