Trials of Mw vaccine for treatment of Covid-19 patients to be initiated soon: PGIMER Chandigarh

The Mycobacterium w (Mw) vaccine is not a vaccine for Covid-19 and will be used only as an adjunct, said experts at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh. The facility was among three premier health institutions, including AIIMS Delhi and AIIMS Bhopal, chosen to conduct trials of Mw vaccine which is normally used to treat leprosy patients.
In a recently concluded multi-center trial, it has been found that Mw reduces mortality in ICU patients with severe sepsis. "Mw can potentially decrease the cytokine storm seen in patients with Covid-19 and may thus be of potential benefit in managing these patients and decreasing mortality," added the spokesperson.

Citing the recent trial findings, PGI officials said that the impact of Mw-use on long term safety and efficacy will only be known after the conclusion of this CSIR-supported clinical trial. "It is very early to say about the outcome of results and its use, officials said.

The trial will study the use of Mycobacterium w (heat-killed Mycobacterium indicus pranii) as an adjunct to the treatment of critically-ill Covid-19 patients. The officials said that Mycobacterium w (Mw) originally developed as an immunomodulator for leprosy, acts through the toll-like receptor pathway and enhances host-T cell responses.
"Mw can potentially decrease the cytokine storm seen in patients with Covid-19, and may thus be of potential benefit in managing these patients and decreasing mortality," the PGI spokesperson told media outlets.
The PGI doctors in the pre-study phase have assessed the safety of Mw vaccine in four hospitalised patients with Covid-19 and found that there were no short-term adverse effects.

PGI has also said that the Mw vaccine trial on Covid-19 patients will be initiated soon.

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