Combining traditional knowledge with modern science, the Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) has announced a novel immunity booster to fight against COVID-19.
Clone Deals, a startup incubated at CCMB's Atal Incubation Centre, has developed a nutraceutical named CoronAid. The oral suspension is a combination of powdered Cordyceps militaris, a rare anti-oxidant-rich mushroom that grows in the Himalayan region, with curcumin, an active ingredient of turmeric.
They active ingredient here is cordycepin, which has been known to have antiviral properties, and is isolated from Cordyceps militaris.
Cordycepin prevents the formation of new RNA strands and has been shown to stop the growth and multiplication of coronavirus, explained Dr Rakesh Mishra, director of CCMB, a research establishment under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.
"This has in fact been called sanjeevani booti for its known medicinal properties," said Dr Prakash Ayodhya Pandem of Clone Deals, which developed CoronAid in collaboration with Hyderabad-based Ambrosia Food Company.
Since the mushroom grows only for a couple of months every year in the Himalayas, harvesting it from nature is not an option. Hence, Clone Deals has developed expertise in its largescale production in controlled environment for medicinal use.
Though as a food product it is already available, the sample has now been submitted for clinical trials.
"The first phase of clinical trials, to establish the safety of the formulation, is being done at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences at Nagpur and Bhopal, and also MGM, Navi Mumbai," Atik Patel, CEO of Clone Deals, told NDTV.
CoronAid is being marketed worldwide by Nuzen Herbals.