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Ahmedabad-based Cadila Healthcare (CHL) On Thursday said it had completed the Phase 2 clinical trial of biological therapy pegylated interferon alpha-2b, PegiHepTM, on Covid-19 patients.
The company is already working on a Covid-19 vaccine and is in the process of commencing Phase 3 trials by the end of the calendar year.
“The study was carried out on 40 patients, and 95% of those who received a single dose of PegiHepTM along with the standard of care (SOC), became virus-free when assessed by RT-PCR test on Day 14, compared with 68% patients who recovered on receiving only standard of care. Of the patients under Phase 2 trials, 16 recovered as early as Day 7 of the treatment,” the company said in a statement.
The study has indicated that Pegylated Interferon alpha-2b could have a beneficial impact on the patient suffering from “moderate” Covid-19 by reducing their viral load and helping in better disease management such as reduced duration of oxygen support, the Zydus group company said. A single dose therapy will improve compliance and also make it highly affordable for patients.
CHL’s managing director Sharvil Patel said Pegylated Interferon alpha-2b has shown the potential to reduce virus titres when given earlier in the disease and the company will like to explore this biological option further.
PegiHep therapy was first approved internationally in 2001 and is also included in WHO’s Essential Medicines List. Cadila Healthcare’s PegiHepTM was originally approved for Hepatitis C and launched in the Indian market in 2011.