No cure avail­able, yet

Down to Earth - - COVER STORY -

There is no pre­ven­tive or cu­ra­tive treat­ment avail­able for dengue. How­ever, there are a few promis­ing drugs in the trial stage. France-based non-profit In­ter­na­tional Cen­tre for Ge­netic Engi­neer­ing and Biotech­nol­ogy has de­vel­oped a vac­cine which they hope to launch in a few years. The vac­cine has been de­vel­oped at the Delhi branch of the non-profit. Serum In­sti­tute, a Pune-based pharma com­pany, too has re­ported to have de­vel­oped a drug (mon­o­clonal anti-body) to treat all four strains of the dengue virus. The com­pany says this would be an in­ject­bile drug cost­ing 5,00010,000 for a sin­gle dose. Only one dose will be re­quired. Cur­rent dengue treat­ments are purely on the ba­sis of symp­toms, says Yash Javeri, di­rec­tor of Apex Health­care Con­sor­tium, Delhi. He has started us­ing a drug called uli­nas­tatin to treat se­vere cases of dengue. Uli­nas­tatin pre­vents or­gan dys­func­tion and promotes home­osta­sis. It is used to treat a dis­ease called sep­sis, whose symp­toms are sim­i­lar to dengue's. But its ef­fi­cacy in treat­ing dengue is yet to be proved. It is be­ing used by many doc­tors in pri­vate hos­pi­tals but not in gov­ern­ment hos­pi­tal, says Kavita Khanna, di­rec­tor of Bharat Serums and Vac­cine Lim­ited, one of the two com­pa­nies pro­duc­ing the drug in In­dia. The other com­pany is Lupin, which im­ports the drug from China.

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