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HomeHealthZydus's antiviral drug Virafin gets emergency approval to treat moderate Covid patients

Zydus’s antiviral drug Virafin gets emergency approval to treat moderate Covid patients

In statement, Zydus Cadila says phase 3 clinical trial data showed Virafin reduced oxygen requirement in patients, & and that a significant number of them tested negative by 7th day.

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New Delhi: Indian pharmaceutical firm Zydus Cadila announced Friday that it has received restricted emergency use approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for its antiviral drug Virafin, which can be used to treat moderate Covid-19 infection in adults.

A single dose ‘subcutaneous regimen’ (injected under the skin) of the drug is expected to make the treatment of Covid-19 more convenient for patients.

If administered early on during the disease, Virafin can help patients recover faster and a multi-centric trial indicated that the hours of supplemental oxygen required was significantly lesser to those administered with the drug. The trial was conducted across 20 to 25 centres in India.

The antiviral drug, therefore, can control respiratory distress and failure. The company also said that the drug showed efficacy against other infections.

The antiviral drug will now be made available for use in hospitals by prescription.

Also read: Chhattisgarh’s latest Covid crisis symptoms: Testing kits run out, long lines at centres

High proportion of patients on Virafin tested negative by day 7

In phase 3 clinical trials of the drug, Virafin showed ‘better clinical improvement’ in patients who were suffering from Covid-19.

Furthermore, a higher proportion of patients who received Virafin proved to be RT-PCR negative by the seventh day in the trial.

“The drug ensures faster viral clearance and has several add-on advantages compared to other antiviral agents,” the company said in a statement. The results of the phase 3 trial have been published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.

On the emergency use approval, Dr Sharvil Patel, managing director, Cadila Healthcare Limited, said: “The fact that we are able to offer a therapy which significantly reduces viral load when given early on can help in better disease management. It comes at a much-needed time for patients and we will continue to provide them access to critical therapies in this battle against Covid-19.”

India has been witnessing a devastating second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the country breaching record highs every day. In the past 24 hours, over 3 lakh cases were recorded for the second consecutive day, with the country registering 3,32,730 cases. The deaths were numbered at 2,263.

This has led to an acute shortage of medical supplies, especially oxygen, and hospital beds across India.

(Edited by Rachel John)

Also read: Happy hypoxia, diarrhoea, severe infection: How 2nd Covid wave is affecting young patients


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