A lecturer attached to the government Thanthai Periyar polytechnic college here has sent to the central government’s Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) details of a study on biophysics undertaken in his PhD research that reportedly deals with drugs to reduce the virulence of the present novel coronavirus epidemic. His research is now reportedly being perused by NIV scientists.
When asked how being a lecturer in physics he was researching drugs related to the medical field, Ravikumar said, “My study is in the area of drug discovery and crystallography in the field of biophysics. I have submitted my thesis to Anna University.”
In a letter dated February 20 from ICMR’s Dr Nivedita Gupta, Ravikumar had been informed that his research studies on molecular docking was being shared with scientists in ICMR’s Pune-based National Institute of Virology (NIV) lab.
In his study, Ravikumar mentioning an earlier statement by the World Health Organization (WHO) that it would take two years for a coronavirus vaccine to be formulated, stated, “The alternative is to use existing drugs to reduce the infection’s virulence so that death could hopefully be prevented.”
The 13-page document ends with stating that existing drugs, including Daptomycin, Afamelanotide, Tetracosactide, Lanreotide, Ceruletide and Pasireotide “could control or reduce infection, including respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, pneumonia, ARS (Acute Respiratory Syndrome) kidney failure and even death” as had been reportedly proved by computational studies.
Ravikumar is now awaiting a response from the NIV. His guide at the government polytechnic College is Dr S Murugavel.