Zydus Cadila's antiviral drug approved for treating moderate COVID-19 cases

Sagar Malik
·2-min read


Zydus Cadila
Zydus Cadila

23 Apr 2021: Zydus Cadila's antiviral drug approved for treating moderate COVID-19 cases

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Friday gave approval for the emergency use of Zydus Cadila's Hepatitis C drug "Virafin" for the treatment of moderate coronavirus infection in adults.

A single-dose subcutaneous regime (injected under the skin) of Pegylated Interferon Alfa-2b can help improve a patient's condition and make the treatment more convenient, the company said.

Here are more details on this.

Details: 'Virafin can help avoid much of the complications'

In its regulatory filing, the company said, "When administered early on during COVID-19, Virafin will help patients recover faster and avoid much of the complications (sic)."

The drug will be available on the prescription of a medical specialist for use in a hospital or institutional setup.

It has also shown efficacy against other viral infections, the company added.

Fact: 'Drug showed lesser need for supplemental oxygen'

In the multicentric trials conducted at 20-25 centers across India, Virafin showed a lesser need for supplemental oxygen, "clearly indicating that it was able to control respiratory distress and failure which has been one of the major challenges in treating COVID-19," the company said.

Claims: Patients tested negative by day 7, company says

Zydus further said, "In its Phase III clinical trials, the therapy had shown better clinical improvement in the patients suffering from COVID-19...The drug ensures faster viral clearance and has several add-on advantages compared to other anti-viral agents."

About 91% of patients treated with the drug tested negative for COVID-19 by day seven, compared to nearly 79% who were given the standard care.

Quote: It can help in better disease management: Cadila MD

About the development, Dr. Sharvil Patel, Managing Director, Cadila Healthcare Limited, said, "The fact that we are able to offer a therapy which significantly reduces the 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," Patel added.

COVID-19 situation: COVID-19 situation in India

The development has come at a time when India continues to face a dreadful second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the last 24 hours, the country reported over 3.32 lakh COVID-19 infections - the highest single-day surge for any country in the outbreak.

2,263 more deaths took the death toll past 1.86 lakh.

India currently has more than 24 lakh active coronavirus cases.