Cadila Healthcare’s Virafin Gets Approval For Moderate Covid-19 Treatment
A health worker injects a woman. (Photographer: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg)

Cadila Healthcare’s Virafin Gets Approval For Moderate Covid-19 Treatment

Cadila Healthcare Ltd. has received restricted emergency use approval from the Indian drug regulator for one of its drugs in treating moderate Covid-19 infection in adults.

The company said when administered early on after contracting the virus, pegylated interferon alpha-2b, or Virafin, will help “patients recover faster and avoid much of the complications”. A single dose subcutaneous regimen—or under the skin—of Virafin will aid the treatment, it said in an exchange filing.

Shares of Cadila Healthcare rose 3% after the announcement.

In a trial conducted across 20-25 centres in India, Virafin was able to control respiratory distress and failure, which is one of the major ways Covid-19 manifests, the company said. “The drug has also shown efficacy against other viral infections.”

The company said during its phase III clinical trials, a higher proportion of Covid-19 positive patients administered with the drug tested negative by day 7. “The drug ensures faster viral clearance and has several add-on advantages compared to other anti-viral agents,” it said.

“The fact that we’re able to offer a therapy which significantly reduces viral load when given early on can help in better disease management,” Dr Sharvil Patel, managing director of Cadila Healthcare, was quoted as saying.

In August last year, Cadila Healthcare launched a cheaper version of Covid-19 drug Remdesivir in India under the brand name Remdac. The Ahmedabad-based firm had also started human clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate ZyCoV-D in July.

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