IIT-G working on developing COVID-19 drug
Guwahati: The IIT-Guwahati on Monday said it is working on developing a drug for treatment of COVID-19 patients and planning to set up a dedicated centre for research on the deadly virus.
The premier institute also said it has developed a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine, which can analyse 1,000 samples in 12 hours, and two such units have already been supplied to the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH).
“As there are no approved drugs presently available for the disease, the faculty members are in the process of developing small molecules inhibitors for the treatment of COVID-19 using modern biotechnological tools,” the IIT- Guwahati said in a statement.
The overall idea is to develop safe, efficacious and affordable drug for the treatment of COVID-19 patients and other dreadful viral infections, it added.
Multiple efforts are being made for developing vaccine at the department of bio-science and bio-engineering, while other departments are involved in finding multiple routes to have a diagnostic and therapeutic approach for early detection of various viral infections, the statement said.
“The faculty members of bio-science and bio- engineering and chemistry departments and Centre for Nanotechnology have also initiated research to combat COVID- 19,” it added.
The institute is in the process of setting up an advanced research centre for COVID-19 analysis, which will help the northeast region to test for the novel coronavirus and detection of other such deadly virus.
“Our idea is to make this a state-of-the-art facility for the northeast region.
“This centre in future will help to develop highly competent manpower for diagnosis of different infectious diseases in the early stage of infection and their prevention too,” IIT-G Director T G Sitharam said.
He said it has provided two real-time PCR machines, which have been developed in-house and patented, to the GMCH for the diagnosis of coronavirus.
“These machines will help in ramping up the testing process by analysing 1,000 samples if run for 12 hours continuously and 2,000 samples in 24 hours,” the statement said.
In addition, the departments of mechanical engineering and electronics and electrical engineering are making efforts to develop robot-based drug and food carrying unit to work in isolation wards, robotic screening units among others.
The institute is also working on to manufacture hospital beds, ventilators, medical waste disposal in the isolation wards and masks and hand sanitisers, the statement said.
“IIT-Guwahati has prepared hand sanitisers and is in the process of preparing at least 5,000 sanitiser bottles to provide them to the GMCH and the Assam government,” it said.
The department of design has also developed a prototype 3D printed full-face shield, including head gear, which can be scaled up immediately, an official said.