Mankind Pharma has partnered with South Korean drug maker Daewoong Pharmaceutical to conduct human trials of a long-acting intramuscular formulation of niclosamide for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Tuesday.
Mankind said the advancement into phase-1 trial is based on encouraging preclinical evidence against COVID-19. Daewoong researchers have developed the long-acting intramuscular injection, which is more effective than the existing oral treatment.
Mankind said, in In vitro, niclosamide was found to be 40, 26 and 15 times more potent than remdesivir, chloroquine and ciclesonide, respectively, for its antiviral action against coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).
"The injectable intramuscular (IM) formulation of niclosamide successfully removed the virus from lungs in animal tests, thereby countering viral infection, besides preventing cytokine storm which is the major cause of mortality in moderate to severe cases of COVID-19," the company said in a statement.
Niclosamide has been used for more than 50 years for the treatment of tapeworm infections across the world. The drug has emerged as a promising candidate against COVID-19 because of its antiviral properties.
Furthermore, niclosamide has documented anti-inflammatory properties.
“We are continuously evaluating various target products for the treatment of Covid-19 in support to national response to the COVID-19 pandemic," said Arjun Juneja, chief operating officer, Mankind Pharma.
"We are excited to collaborate with Daewoong Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd to bring Novel formulation of niclosamide (DWRX2003) for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in India. We believe that the product would provide for a safe and effective alternative to patients suffering from this disease,”Juneja added.
US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has cleared the investigational new drug application of ANA Therapeutics to conduct clinical trial of niclosamide capsules on COVID-19 patients.