Bhubaneswar: Odisha based senior scientists Kanchan Kumari and Sandip Mishra have claimed that Artemisinin can cure Covid-19.

In an article, ‘Artemisinin and its Derivatives as Repurposing Drug against COVID-19’, Kanchan Kumari and Sandip K Mishra of
Cancer Biology Laboratory, Department of Cancer Biology of Bhubaneswar-based Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) have claimed that the anti-malarial drug Artemisinin, which is used in treating breast cancer can cure Covid-19.

“We have proved that anti-malarial drug Artemisinin could work against Breast cancer metastasis. Our hypothesis says that Artemisinin will work to fight COVID-19 infection. We would say that the way an anti-malarial drug i.e. hydroxychloroquine is showing great efficacy against COVID-19, Artemisinin is also going to be proven as an effective drug against COVID-19.”

“Here we propose Artemisinin and its derivatives (dihydroartemisinin (DHA), artemether, and artesunate) as promising drug candidates for treatment of COVID-19. Artemisia annua derived Artemisinin a well-known anti-malarial drug that show higher chemotherapeutic index than chloroquine and is reported to be effective even in chloroquine-resistant human malarial strains . As per a recent findings, Artesunate, a derivative of Artemisinin exhibits greater anti-inflammatory effect than hydroxychloroquine in RA patients. WHO has recommended Artemisinin and its synthetic derivatives as a first line treatment in malaria [22]. Similar to hydroxychloroquine, Artemisinin and its derivatives effectively modulate immune system and provide direct benefit to host system, which is well evidenced by several groups of researchers . Silva., et al. 2018 discusses the progress that have been made in delivery of Artemsinin and its derivatives for use for immunomodulatory purposes.”

“The substantial effect of Artemisinin and its derivatives on immune system can show promising results against immune related diseases. Interestingly, encouraging immune suppressive results have been observed in combination therapy of Artemisinin and Hydroxychloroquine. To our expectations, Artesunate shows strong anti-viral activities specially Hepatitis B virus and Hepatitis C virus as recently reported. To address the availability of stable source of Artemisinin, efforts have been made for high-level semi-synthetic production of Artemisinin which suggests the substantial efficacy of the drug and can be taken up in case of high demand.”
“In conclusion, immunomodulatory and anti-viral properties of Artemisinin and its derivatives may prove to be of great therapeutic importance against COVID-19 infection and disease progression”, stated Kanchan Kumari and Sandip Mishra in the article.