Bharat Serums and Vaccines Limited has become the first company to receive approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to use anti-fungal medication — Liposomal Amphotericin B or LAmB — as a medical intervention in patients of Mucormycosis.
Mucormycosis is a deadly invasive fungal infection that emerged as a ‘new worry’ for healthcare practitioners amid the Covid-19 pandemic with a fatality rate of up to 80 percent.
The cases started to increase among the people who recovered from the Covid-19, while the cases of this infection have traditionally low in India before the pandemic hit here.
Many hospitals in the country have reported the rise of Mucormycosis cases in Covid-19 recovered patients, lately. However last year more than 50 cases were reported in Delhi hospitals alone.
According to a health expert, if the infection is not diagnosed on time within two days of its onset it can turn aggressive and the patients have to let go of the organ it infects.
Mucormycosis generally starts in the nasal area, sinuses, and quickly spreads to the eyes and the brain. If left untreated, this can result in a brain abscess, blindness, or even death.
People who have poorly controlled diabetes, AIDS, and certain cancers are the ones who are most vulnerable to the Mucormycosis virus.
Those on immune-suppressing medications or long-term steroid use are also the ones who are at risk of being infected by the Mucormycosis which also includes the patients of Covid-19 as steroids are used frequently to manage cytokine storms in the patients.
Vishwanath Swarup, COO, Bharat Serums & Vaccines (BSV), said that anti-fungal medication can prevent the patients suffering from black fungus from progressing the stage of surgery.
“BSV is indigenously developing and manufacturing the formulation of Amphotericin B including Liposomal Amphotericin B and Lipid Complex Amphotericin B – the anti-fungal medications that have been recommended for use in life-threatening fungal infections such as mucormycosis. Also, BSV is the first Indian company to get the regulatory approval of Liposomal Amphotericin B,” he added.
Dr Swashraya Shah, BSV’s Chief Medical officer, said that evidence suggests successful clinical recovery of patients suffering from Mucormycosis following the treatment with LAmB.
“Its treatment involves a combination of surgical removal of affected tissues and use of antifungal therapy, usually intravenous Liposomal Amphotericin B (LAmB). Several international clinical guidelines have recommended LAmB in the management of various invasive fungal infections including Mucormycosis. A few recently published reports mention successful clinical recovery of patients suffering from Mucormycosis following the treatment with LAmB,” he noted.