With the Coronavirus outbreak in the country, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) said that antiviral drug Favipiravir looks promising to treat COVID-19.
COVID-19: Clinical trials for antiviral drug Favipiravir allowed! With the Coronavirus outbreak in the country, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) said that antiviral drug Favipiravir looks promising to treat COVID-19. Therefore, it will allow clinical trials in order to test this drug, the IE reported citing top DGCI officials. The report said that the drug has shown some good results against some viruses causing influenza. In fact, Japan and China are also testing Favipiravir as a potential treatment for Coronavirus patients. The report also said that some work is underway on “repurposing different drugs” which according to Dr Shekhar Mande, Director General at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research could be used as a line of treatment for the novel Coronavirus.
The report highlighted that synthesis of Favipiravir has been completed with a pharmaceutical company and once DCGI approves it, the company will be going ahead with limited clinical trials. The drug currently has been approved in Japan for sale and manufacturing and is considered as an investigational product that is being administered to Coronavirus patients in clinical studies, the report said citing European Pharmaceutical Review. The report added that it is being used to combat COVID-19 as it inhibits the RNA polymerase which is required for viral replication. Apart from Favipiravir, Chloroquine, Arbidol, and Remdesivir are also undergoing clinical trials to test their efficacy as well as safety for treating coronavirus disease.
Japanese company Fujifilm is currently selling the drug Favipiravir approved by Japanese board under the brand name Avigan. This is used to treat influenza. It is to note that it is the same drug that was also used to treat Ebola virus. Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has advised the hospitals and other healthcare workers to use HCQ (Hydroxychloroquine) in order to prevent Coronavirus as they fall under high-risk categories by being in close contact with COVID-19 positive patients.