Soon, a botanical drug to cure dengue!

New Delhi: In what could be termed as a major advance in dengue treatment, scientists from India claimed to have come up with a novel botanical drug which will cure the world’s fastest growing mosquito-borne disease.

Sun Pharma, India’s largest pharmaceutical company, has signed an agreement with the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) on Wednesday to develop a novel plant-based drug to combat the dengue that afflicts at least 100,000 and kills at least 200 in India anually.

The drug, Cipa, is being developed from a plant called Cissampelos pariera, also known as abuta or laghupatha. Recently, they reported the potency of this plant in treating the disease.

Sun Pharma will develop Cipa, scientifically called Cissampelos Pareira, by following a drug registration process similar to that for a new chemical entity, consisting of all required in vitro, in vivo, pre-clinical and clinical studies meeting regulatory standards in India and worldwide, a joint statement issued by Sun Pharma and ICGEB said.

According to Navin Khanna, senior scientist at ICGEB, New Delhi and the group leader of the project, atleast 10 scientist have been working on this for at least 10 years now, studying at least 10 species of plants. He also added that each of the plants showed the characteristics to fight the symptoms of dengue.

It is said that the drug has completed pre-clinical work, through all phases of clinical studies.

Dengue virus is transmitted by female mosquitoes mainly of the species Aedes aegypti.

Dengue currently threatens about half the world’s population or almost 4 billion people, which leads to an estimated 60-100 million symptomatic dengue cases every year.

With no specific dengue therapeutics and prevention being currently available, the development is being seen as a major advance in dengue treatment.