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Hyderabad: In a major fillip to the fight against the dreaded coronavirus, a city-based start-up incubated at the centre for cellular and molecular biology (CCMB) has developed a novel nutraceutical which, they claim, will boost immunity.

The start-up, Clone Deals, incubated at Atal incubation centre-CCMB (AIC-CCMB), has developed ‘CoronAid’, a food supplement made from a mushroom (Cordyceps militaris) that grows in the Himalayan region and is known for its immune-boosting and anti-oxidant components.  With the results of the clinical trials, the product is expected to be available from December 2020 in most cities and towns.

Collaborating with another city-based company, Ambrosia food company, Clone Deals has developed a combination of the mushroom powder with curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric to make CoronAid anti-viral immunity booster oral suspension.

Cordycepin in the mushroom powder is known to prevent the formation of new DNA and RNA strands. Clone Deals has collaborated with scientists from CCMB to establish the potency of cordycepin in stopping the growth of the Covid-19-causing coronavirus in a cell-culture system. The studies show that cordycepin inhibits the multiplication of coronavirus.

Clone Deals has expertise in large-scale production of the mushroom in a controlled environment for its medicinal use. Currently, the team has obtained FSSAI approval to market it and has submitted it to government of India for conducting clinical trials to establish the safety of their formulation with three All India institutes of medical sciences in Nagpur, Navi Mumbai and Bhopal.

Dr. Prakash Ayodhya Pandem and M. Ateek Patel of Clone Deals hope that CoronAid would be a new year’s gift to the world and add considerable protection against the virus. CCMB director, Dr. Rakesh Mishra, expressed his pleasure in supporting a start-up focused on developing indigenous natural products and adding value by establishing its scientific basis.

Dr. Madhusudhana Rao, CEO of AIC-CCMB, said that providing necessary facilities and scientific support to start-ups like Clone Deals is critical for validation of their technology and market-readiness.

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