ICAR’s institute claims to have found herbal extract which may be repurposed to treat Covid-19 patients | India News

NEW DELHI: Hisar-based institution under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has found a compound from herbal plants which, it claims, has potential to treat coronavirus and may be repurposed for treating Covid-19 patients.
“It’s a lead which gave scientists at National Research Centre on Equines (NRCE) encouraging results against many viruses,” B N Tripathi, deputy director general (animal science), ICAR, told TOI on Friday.
Asked about the herbal plants whose extract is being used for this purpose, Tripathi said the institution cannot disclose it at this juncture.
“I can only tell you that those herbal plants are currently being used in several Ayurvedic medicines in the country,” said Tripathi.
The ICAR on Friday issued a formal note on the findings of the ongoing research which may lead the scientists to find a solution to treat Covid-19 patients.
It said upon emergence of Covid-19 pandemic, scientists at ICAR-NRCE, Hisar rapidly evaluated antiviral efficacy of some natural products – those which are safe for human use and are commonly used to treat cough and fever.
The scientists used chicken coronavirus – called infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) – infection model in the study to investigate the antiviral effect of certain herbal plants.
The chicken coronavirus was the first coronavirus identified during 1930. It causes a severe respiratory, nephrotic and reproductive infection in poultry.
The ICAR’s note said, “In a preliminary study, a natural product (namely VTC-antiC1) gave encouraging results against IBV coronavirus. At a non-cytotoxic concentration, VTC-AntiC1 was able to completely protect chicken embryos upon lethal IBV challenge infection.”
In addition, the VTC-antiC1 also showed a potent in-vitro antiviral efficacy against some other RNA (Newcastle disease virus) and DNA (buffalopox virus) viruses.
“This suggests that VTC-antiC1 has the potential to treat coronavirus and may be repurposed to treat Covid-19 patients,” claimed the ICAR.

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