New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Indian drug manufacturer Zydus Cadila on Friday said that it has received the emergency use approval (EUA) from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for its drug 'Virafin', Pegylated Interferon alpha-2b (PegIFN), for treating moderate COVID-19 infection in adults. The company said that around 92 per cent of the patients treated with Virafin test negative for COVID-19 within 7 days.

"A single dose subcutaneous regimen of the antiviral Virafin will make the treatment more convenient for the patients. When administered early on during Covid, Virafin will help patients recover faster and avoid much of the complications. Virafin will be available on the prescription of medical specialist for use in hospital/institutional setup," the company said.

According to Zydus, Virafin shows a lesser need for supplemental oxygen which indicates that the drug was able to control respiratory distress and failure. The study was done in the multicentric trial conducted in 20-25 centres across India. Zydus also said that the drug has also shown efficacy against other virals. 

Earlier in the month, the company had sought approval from the DCGI for the additional indication of hepatitis drug Pegylated Interferon Alpha-2b for treating COVID-19. PegIFN has very well-established safety with multiple doses in chronic Hepatitis B and C patients for many years. A single dose subcutaneous regimen of the antiviral Virafin will make the treatment more convenient for the patients.

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 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.

This government's approval for use of the antiviral drug comes at a time when India's daily COVID tally is crossing the 3-lakh mark. 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.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan