Zydus Cadila on Friday announced that the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has given “Restricted Emergency Use Approval” for the use of Virafin, Pegylated Interferon alpha-2b (PegIFN), to treat moderate Covid-19 infection in adults.
Originally approved for Hepatitis C, the “multicentric trial” of the drug —conducted in 20-25 centers across India — has shown lesser need for supplemental oxygen.
This “clearly indicates that it was able to control respiratory distress and failure which has been one of the major challenges in treating Covid-19,” the company stated in a filing to the BSE on Friday. The company had sought approval from DGCI earlier this month.
A single dose subcutaneous regimen of the antiviral Virafin will make the treatment more convenient for the patients. When administered during the early stage of infection, 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, it added.
Dr Sharvil Patel, Managing Director, Cadila Healthcare Limited stated, “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.”
Zydus is also working on a Covid vaccine ZyCoV-D.