Zydus Cadila received restricted emergency use approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) for the use of “Virafin” for treating the patients showing moderate COVID-19 symptoms. Virafin is a pegylated interferon alpha-2b(PegIFN), which when subcutaneously injected to the patient in the early stages of infection, resulted in their faster recovery.
For the development of Virafin, Zydus appreciated the support provided by the Department of Biotechnology-Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (DBT-BIRAC) COVID 19 Research Consortium through NBM, for conducting the Phase-2 human clinical trial studies. The studies confirmed the safety, tolerability and efficacy of Virafin. The studies also reported that Viarfin reduces viral load and aid in managing the disease in a better way, such as reduction in the need for supplemental oxygen, thereby reducing the respiratory tension caused due to low oxygen levels.
Zydus Cadila, also known as Cadila Healthcare Limited is an Indian multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India primarily engaged in the manufacture of generic drugs.
Speaking on this achievement Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary, DBT and Chairperson, BIRAC said, ‘’The government has been committed to providing all possible facilitation to our industries to work towards mitigation strategies and interventions against COVID-19 pandemic. The emergency nod provided to Virafin is another milestone that is a boon for the medical facility providers. I highly appreciate the efforts put in for this achievement.”
Excited about this announcement, the Managing Director of Cadila Healthcare Limited, Dr. Sharvil Patel added “The realisation that we can to provide a therapy that reduces viral load substantially when given early and can aid in better disease management. It comes at a critical time for patients, and we will continue to give them access to the critical therapies as we together fight against COVID-19.”
Phase-3 clinical trial studies reported that a larger proportion of patients when administered subcutaneously with Virafin turned out to be RT-PCR negative by day 7, apart from faster recovery as compared to other anti-viral agents.
The development and the nod from DGCI come at a time when India is combating the second wave of coronavirus. As many as 3,46,786 more people tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative caseload to 1,66,10,481, the Union health ministry said on Saturday morning.
Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Bihar and West Bengal are displaying an upward trajectory in daily new cases, the ministry said on Friday.
Maharashtra continues to be the biggest contributor to the daily tally. It was followed by Uttar Pradesh and Kerala.
The country has seen a record surge in the daily fatality count too. A total of 2,624 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours. With this, the cumulative death toll in the country has reached 1,89,544.
The central government in one of its major announcements decided to administer COVID-19 vaccines to all age above 18 years.