Zydus Cadila received emergency use approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) on Friday for the use of “Virafin”, Pegylated Interferon alpha-2b (PegIFN) in treating moderate COVID-19 infection in adults.
A single-dose subcutaneous regimen of the antiviral Virafin will make the treatment more convenient for the patients. When administered early on during COVID-19, Virafin will help patients recover faster and avoid much of the complications, the company said.
In a release, Cadila Health highlighted that “the drug has also shown efficacy against other viral infections.”
Speaking on the development, Dr Sharvil Patel, Managing Director, Cadila Healthcare Limited said, “The fact that we are able to offer a therapy which significantly reduces the 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.”
In its Phase III clinical trials, the therapy had shown better clinical improvement in the patients suffering from COVID-19. During the trials, a higher proportion of patients administered with PegIFN arm were RT-PCR negative by day 7. The drug ensures faster viral clearance and has several add-on advantages compared to other anti-viral agents, the release further reads.
The development and the nod from DGCI come at a time when India is combating the second wave of coronavirus.
The central government in one of its major announcements decided to administer COVID-19 vaccines to all age above 18 years.
India recorded 3,32,730 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day spike since the pandemic broke out last year. India has crossed the mark of 3 lakh COVID-19 cases for two consecutive days now. This has taken the cumulative count of the COVID infection in the country to 1,62,63,695.
The country has recorded 2,263 new deaths due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. As many as 1,86,920 people have succumbed to the viral infection in India so far. There are 24,28,616 active COVID-19 cases in the country now.