- QuickGun LifeScience Closes In on Coronavirus Cure with an Age-old Cure
- US-based BioTech Accelerator MedStartr Invests USD $25,000 for QuickGun LifeScience’s Possible Corona Cure
- BioRidll, Mumbai based incubator Invests $40,000 at a valuation of $1.3 million USD
India 01/08/2020: The coronavirus has brought about an unprecedented change to our lives. So far, 9.94 million people have been affected across the world and mortality rates are as high as 5 percent in some parts of the world. With the number of cases rising every day and the global economy left reeling, the whole world is pinning its hope on a vaccine to combat COVID-19. While scientists and entrepreneurs are collaborating to find a cure for the pandemic, we have had little success at that.
However, a project by QuickGun LifeScience, a company headed by Subhramani Naidu along with his team of scientists, claims the discovery of a potential cure. The product is in the prototype stage now.
Resurrecting an age-old cure
Silver has been used as a healing agent for several ailments, across continents. Its usage has been documented ever since the Roman and Greek periods. Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, believed silver had properties that healed wounds and controlled several diseases.). He listed silver as a singular treatment for ulcers–the flowers of silver alone, in the finest powder–quotes one of his texts that dates back to at least 400 B.C.
It also has been mentioned in the Ayurvedic literature as Rajat Bhasma and has been used since time immemorial in ancient India. The process used silver nanoparticles around 100nm extracted using a plant-based technology. The company has used a similar process in the form of nanotechnology integrated with biotechnology. The learnings from ancient science and bleeding edge technology is combined to develop a hybrid solution.
The silver bullet
QuickGun LifeScience claims a double attack strategy after having carried literature research on past studies of the virus under lab settings. They tried to understand the best formulation for immediate application against the novel coronavirus. They selected two active ingredients that target the viral membrane–silver is known to bind the glycoprotein knobs in HIV and other viruses. (The plant derived alkaloid (CEP) also targets the glycoprotein in the covid virus and further prevents it from replicating.) Both these ingredients target the glycoprotein through different pathways disrupting the viral envelope and prevent the virus from replicating.
The plant-based alkaloid called (CEP) has been found to be one of the most potent inhibitors of the covid virus during drug screening tests. The alkaloid is also potent against cancer and is known to reduce the cytokine reaction usually associated with COVID patients.
The treatment uses a green-synthesized silver nanoparticle with a payload containing the plant-derived alkaloid, CEP. The surface of the silver nanoparticles is coated with the biomolecules of plant chemicals, forming a protective capping with additional antiviral properties. Both these ingredients are found to be effective individually against the coronavirus family with a good safety profile. Further there is a coating of PEG to efficiently clear accumulation from liver and spleen. There’s plenty of evidence in the form of in-vitro and animal studies supporting the efficacy of these molecules against the nCOV-19 coronavirus.
The safety concerns of silver usage
As promising as the research sounds to be, one cannot discount the toxicity of silver. Silver has distinct properties and an overdose of the metal is known to cause Argyria–a non-threatening disorder that cosmetically changes the skin color.
QuickGun LifeScience’s scientists contest these claims by citing the historical usage of silver in India in both medicine and food. This is also furthered by research carried out on workers regularly exposed to silver in smelting units. Also, it’s used as a silver foil in Indian sweets and its annual consumption is as high as 275 tons. At this rate, the toxic effects should have been profound with a majority of the population being affected by Argyria. Further, given the non-life-threatening side effects, the priority should be on saving lives.
Attracting investors from half-way across the world
The promising research has got the eyes of a biotech accelerators, MedStartr and BioRidll, which has been bringing innovative healthcare tech to the industry. A panel of experts in biotechnology and healthcare select projects on the merits of scientific evidence. Through their venture cap fund, they have committed to an investment of USD $65000 toward QuickGun LifeScience’s research. Further investments are going to fast track the project to human trials and we will be inching close to a cure.
(The formulation is Patent pending)