Saturday, WhatsApp groups have been buzzing up with the news that PGI found Success in CoronaVirus-Vaccine. Hence, lots of Congratulations messages started filling social-media space. Though the content after the sensational headline does not have any relation with the treatment of Coronavirus in it. Whereas the doctor fraternity took a laughing jibe at it and many media channels made a sensational “Sense-less” headlines with this news. Hence, PGI make its statement public while sharing following statement that says far a different story that has been published to just a viral-eye.
In Layman’s understanding, this medicine or vaccine named Mycobacterium w (Mw) was used in critically ill patients of leprosy and in those who have pulmonary issues. In COVID patients, PGIMER did the Safety Assessment Trial which is NOT YET completed. PGIMER assessed the safety of Mycobacterium w (Mw) in 4 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and found no short-term adverse effects of the drug in the “Pre-Study Phase.
A prospective randomized trial has been planned by PGIMER in Chandigarh along with AIIMS-Delhi and AIIMS-Bhopal to study the effectiveness of Mw in hospitalized patients of COVID-19. Mw will be used as an adjunct to the treatment of critically ill COVID-19 patients.
“The impact of Mw use on long-term safety and efficacy will only be known after the conclusion of this CSIR-supported clinical trial, which will be initiated soon at all three centres,” a PGIMER statement read on Sunday.
Mw—heat-killed Mycobacterium indicus pranii—was reportedly earlier touted as a vaccine for the deadly disease. However, doctors in PGIMER clarified that it was not a vaccine.
“The Mw is not a vaccine for COVID-19. It is an adjunctive immuno-modulatory treatment (in addition to standard care) for patients with sepsis. Mw is one of the drugs that is going to be evaluated in COVID-19 patients, like many other treatments (remdesivir, tocilizumab, and others) that are being tried in this disease,” said Dr. GD Puri of PGIMER.
In its statement, PGIMER said: “In a recently-concluded multi-centre trial, PGIMER found that Mw reduces mortality in ICU patients with severe sepsis.”
PGI spokesperson, Dr Ashok said, “It is very early to comment on the outcome of the results and its use.”
Mw, originally developed as an immunomodulator for leprosy, acts through the toll-like receptor pathway and enhances host-T cell responses. Mw can potentially decrease the cytokine storm seen in patients with COVID-19, and may thus be of potential benefit in managing these patients and decreasing mortality.