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Focelite to conduct clinical studies for Welblu drug & device to combat dengue

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Friday, November 11, 2022, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Focelite, a pharma research unit, incubated within CMIE-AIIMS, (Centre for Medical Innovation & Entrepreneurship-All India Institute of Medical Sciences), New Delhi is now aggressively working on an antiviral technology project to combat dengue with its Welblu drug & device.
The Bengaluru-based company’s Welblu is a repurposed drug which was developed as a low emitting light device to fight the corona virus disease (Covid-19). But now, we sees Welblu is showing potential as a treatment for dengue which is another deadly mosquito-borne viral disease, said Vijay, Ranka managing director, Focelite.
According to Rajendra Bhandari, chairman, Focelite, Welblu is positioned as an integrated repurposed drug and device which was developed during the Covid-19 pandemic. This product was incubated at Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre (BBC). A short clinical study was conducted in the US during the peak of pandemic infections. The outcome of the study was encouraging. This data was presented to DCGI, India and UK MHRA.
“Global regulator MHRA viewed it as an emerging antiviral technology. We received the clearance to go ahead with a full clinical study. However, the pandemic subsided and hence the product and the technology were relooked for treatment of dengue for which we incubated our clinical research efforts within CMIE – AIIMS,” Bhandari told Pharmabiz at the side-lines of the Focelite office opening in Bengaluru.
The big development is that AIIMS has now agreed to partner on carrying out the clinical validations which will be conducted in a time-bound manner. We are also looking for a strategic partner for the commercialization of this technology for dengue, said Bhandari.
According to the World Health Organization, dengue is among the top ten global health threats. There is a record 30-fold increase in global incidence over the past 50 years. Over half of the world's population is at risk of dengue infection. Annually, an estimated 390 million dengue infections occur around the world, resulting in up to 36,000 fatalities.
The company is hopeful that if Welblu shows positive results, then India could be the first to bring the long-awaited relief to 141 countries affected by the most rapidly spreading dengue, said Bhandari.
In addition, we are working on OncoWel with Dr. Radheshyam Naik, medical oncologist, founder, Sammprada & Group Advisor HCG Hospital. OncoWel technology platform allows a dual line of action using a regenerative compound which is conjugated with a photo dynamic therapy. This technology is also ready and we are scouting for partnerships for the development of the product, said Ranka.
The key efforts of the company is to integrate expertise, infrastructure and the resources available globally. To this end, Focelite has a joint initiative with ALS, an Australian Stock Exchange listed company with a presence in over 65 countries and is a leader in testing, inspection & certification for the pharma and food industry. Through its initiative CI4Growth: Reimagining Businesses, we are creating a platform to help global pharma companies to accelerate product innovation, transform commercial operations and drive patient centric experience to improve health outcomes, said Ranka, adding that it would also bring about integration of supply chain efficiency to the global pharmaceutical industry and government bodies to utilize the scientific expertise & infrastructure in India.


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Satish KO Nov 11, 2022 11:30 AM
Knowing Vijay and his passion towards finding new technology towards todays problems. I am sure Welblu will be a huge success. Wishing him and Focelite all the very best.
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