Sun Pharma to develop anti-dengue drug
June 03, 2016: Dengue fever is a tropical disease caused by the bite of the mosquito Aedes aegypti carrying the dengue virus. The initial symptoms include high fever, headache, joint pain and a skin rash which is very typical of dengue. With prompt diagnosis and treatment, recovery is instant in almost within a week. However, negligence to correct the symptoms could lead to life threatening conditions such as hemorrhagic fever, which brings about a cascade of events including bleeding, a drop in platelet count, and a leaking of blood plasma accompanied by a severe drop in blood pressure.
At present, 5 different types of the dengue virus are known, of which one gives a lifelong immunity to that particular strain.
Sun Pharma has collaborated with Ranbaxy, and the Delhi based ICGEB (International center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology) in order to develop a cure for dengue. The focus is presently on the isolation of active compounds of the herb Cissampelos pariera, which has also been used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine. The alcoholic extract of this plant has shown to be effective in combatting the dengue virus. Sun Pharma plans to introduce the drug in 17 countries and will pay sales royalties to ICGEB. The research team at Sun Pharma has completed the in vitro and in vivo studies on the active principles of the extract and will soon file it as an NCE with the regulatory authorities.
This drug would be of great benefit in the tropical countries, especially India, which has a high incidence of dengue, and dengue related complications. The annual financial burden, inclusive of costs of therapy are close to US $ 1 billion in India alone.
Sun Pharma is a leading organization, headquartered in Mumbai, and has a strong presence in the fields of cardiology, psychiatry, neurology and gastroenterology.
Dr. Jay Shinde