Zydus Cadila on Friday announced it has received approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for emergency use of its drug ‘Virafin’ for treating moderate cases of COVID-19 in adults. According to Cadila Health, one dose of Pegylated Interferon Alpha-2b, ‘Virafin’ showed clinical and virological improvement in moderate COVID-19 cases. The Ahmedabad-based pharmaceutical firm said 91.15 per cent of patients treated with PegIFN were RT-PCR negative by day 7. The treatment significantly reduces the hours of supplemental oxygen in the patients, it said.
Coronavirus Live Updates: India Reports 3.3 Lakh New Cases; Global Daily Cases Reaches Record High
“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," Cadila Managing Director Sharvil Patel said. “It comes at a much-needed time for patients."
The drug was originally approved for liver disease Hepatitis C and launched in India 10 years ago. It is being repurposed to treat COVID-19.
The company’s shares reversed course following the news, and were last up 3.2% at 570 rupees in afternoon trading on the National Stock Exchange.
The development comes at a time when India’s daily COVID tally is crossing the 3-lakh mark. India has reported over 3 lakh new COVID-19 cases in a single day. India has recorded 3,32,730 new cases in the last 24 hours, also the world’s highest rise in the cases in a day, as per the Union Health Ministry.
The total number of cases stood at 1,62,63,695 and active cases crossed the 24-lakh mark, the data updated at 8 am showed.