The Drugs Controller General Of India (DCGI) on April 24, Saturday, gave a restricted emergency use approval to the Zydus Cadila’s ‘Virafin’ for treating patients showing moderate COVID-19 symptoms.
Virafin, a pegylated interferon alpha-2b (PegIFN), which when subcutaneously injected to the patient in the early stages of infection, resulted in their faster recovery, an officials statement said.
DBT-BIRAC COVID 19 Research Consoritum through NBM helped in conducting the Phase II human clinical trials. The studies confirmed the safety, tolerability and efficacy of Virafin. The studies also reported that Viarfin reduces viral load. It also helped in managing the disease in a better way like reduction in the need for supplemental oxygen. This reduced the respiratory tension caused due to low oxygen levels.
Speaking on this achievement, DBT secretary and Chairperson, BIRAC Dr Renu Swarup, said, “the government is committed to provide 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, Cadila Healthcare Limited Managing Director Dr Sharvil Patel said “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. We will continue to give them access to the critical therapies as we together fight against COVID-19.”
Phase III clinical trial saw a larger proportion of patients turned out RT-PCR negative by day seven. They also recovered faster as compared to other anti-viral agents.
The Department of Biotechnology , under the Ministry of Science & Technology, promotes the use and application of biotechnology in the areas of agriculture, healthcare, animal sciences, environment and industry. It focuses on shaping biotechnology into a premier tool of the future for creation of wealth and ensuring social justice.
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council is a not-for-profit Section 8, Schedule B, Public Sector Enterprise, set up by DBT as an Interface Agency to strengthen and empower the emerging Biotech enterprise to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally relevant product development needs.
Zydus Cadila also known as Cadila Healthcare Limited is an Indian multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.