ICGEB with Sun Pharma: Phase-II clinical trial on AQCH for treatment of COVID-19 patients

Studies conducted in collaboration with ICGEB, Italy prove instrumental in initiating Phase II clinical trial on AQCH, a phytopharmaceutical drug, as potential treatment for COVID-19 patients.

“Sun Pharma”, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., the world’s fourth-largest, specialty generic, and India’s top, pharmaceutical company, has announced the commencement of Phase II clinical trials on AQCH, a phytopharmaceutical (plant-derived) drug for the treatment of COVID-19.

Constituting the first phytopharmaceutical drug approved for a clinical trial by the Drug Controller General of India, DCGI for COVID-19. The Clinical trial will be conducted across 12 centres in India in 210 patients; with results expected by October 2020. The Drug has shown anti-SARS-CoV-2 effects in in-vitro studies conducted in collaboration with the ICGEB, Italy.

AQCH, which is being developed for dengue, has shown a broad antiviral effect in in vitro studies and hence is being tested as a potential treatment option for COVID-19. Since 2016, Sun Pharma has been working very closely with DBT and ICGEB India, under the leadership of Dr. Navin Khanna and CSIR-IIIM, under the leadership of Dr. Ram Vishwakarma, to develop a phytopharmaceutical drug for dengue. 

The antiviral activity data of the phytochemical drug AQCH against SARS-CoV-2 was provided in record time, to initiate clinical trials in India, by the Molecular Virology lab at ICGEB Trieste, headed by Dr. Alessandro Marcello.

Dr. Lawrence Banks, ICGEB Director-General, commented “the ICGEB is delighted by this exciting development. The collaboration between ICGEB New Delhi, and more recently ICGEB Trieste, with Sun Pharma is a wonderful example of how cutting edge science can translate directly towards improving the lives of people around the world. The alacrity with which ICGEB has been able to contribute towards the global response to the pandemic reflects the strength of our science and our adaptability. We are proud to be part of these activities.”


Press Releases

5 June 2020
ICGEB Press Release (in Italian)
SunPharma Press Release


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Suzanne Kerbavcic
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