Glenmark, based in Mumbai, became the first drug company in India to be licensed for the manufacture and marketing of antiviral favipiravir, one of the medicines that is being explored in terms of potential Covid-19 treatment.
The drug for “limited emergency use” has reportedly been licensed by the Indian Drug Controller General as Covid-19 care Friday.
In a press release and a press conference on Saturday Glenmark said that the medication is advisable in mild to moderate Covid-19 situations.
According to the company, the drug will start commercially next week and will probably be available on prescription at chemical outlets by the end of the month. The price is Rs 103 per tablet.
In Japan the antiviral drug was developed and later approved for use in influenza patients. Favipiravir is one of the drugs for treating Covid-19 along with Ebola medicines remdesivir and is a combination of HIV medicines lopinavir and ritonavir and Interferon beta.
Currently at least 18 clinical trials involving over 3,000 patients in India , USA, Canada, Italy , China, France , United Kingdom and in other countries are being carried out.
In Wuhan and Shenzhen, early drug studies in China involving 340 patients showed promising results.
In The Guardian on 18 March, a Chinese health official cited “the use of favipiravir showed significant lung improvements in 91% of the patients treated with favipiravir, compared with 62% in those treated without the drug.”
Another observational study in Japan involving more than 2000 patients with mild to moderate signs showed clinical improvements of up to 74 percent by day 7 and up to 88 percent by day 14.