Amid a sudden surge in number of novel coronavirus cases in the country, Zydus Cadila on Friday announced that it has received restricted emergency use approval from the Drug Controller General of India for the use of ‘Virafin’, in treating moderate COVID-19 infection in adults.
Announcing the decision the pharmaceutical company said that 91.15% of patients treated with PegIFN tested RT PCR negative by day 7.
The document further reads, “A single dose subcutaneous regimen of the antiviral Virafin will make treatment more convenient for the patients. When administered early on during COVID, Virafin will help patients recover faster and avoid much of the complications.”
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,” added Dr. Patel.
Virafin had shown lesser need for supplemental oxygen:
The pharma giant added that the antiviral drug treatment significantly reduces the hours of supplemental oxygen in the patients and is able to control respiratory distress and failure which has been one of the significant difficulty in treating COVID-19.
Phase III clinical trial data:
According to Phase III trial data, a higher proportion of patients administered with Virafin showed a two point statistically significant clinical improvement on day 8 as compared to the Standard of Care (SOC arm) (80.36% vs 68.18%).
Virafin reduces deficiency of Interferon Alpha:
Type I interferons are body’s first line of defence against many viral infections. Furthermore, aging lowers the body’s capacity to produce Interferon Alpha, responsible to fight against viral infections. Virafin administered during early phase of COVID-19 infection can replace Interferon Alpha deficiency and can speed-up a recovery process.
A Pegylated Interferon alpha-2b (PegIFN) drug, Virafin, can be availed upon the prescription of medical specialist for use in hospitals or institutional setups. The drug can also be used for the treatment of other viral infections.