Zydus Cadila’s Virafin gets emergency use authorisation for Covid treatment: Here’s all you need to know

By: |
April 23, 2021 4:56 PM

The pharma company said that the Pegylated Interferon alpha-2b (PegIFN) Virafin will be available only on the prescription of medical specialists and is meant for use in institutional setups or hospitals.

Covid treatmentThe drug, when given to Covid patients in the early stage, has shown significant clinical and virological improvement in moderate cases. (File Photo)

Amid a continuous spike in the number of coronavirus cases in India, Zydus Cadila’s Virafin has been granted emergency use authorisation (EUA) for treatment of moderate cases of Covid-19 by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).

What is ‘Virafin,’ the drug that gets DCGI nod for emergency use authorisation for Covid Treatment?

Virafin is an antiviral drug that is subcutaneously administered. The drug, when given to Covid patients in the early stage, has shown significant clinical and virological improvement in moderate cases. According to the drug maker, patients who were treated with Virafin were tested negative within 7 days.

Virafin drug was also found to reduce hours of supplemental oxygen required by patients. The pharma company said that the Pegylated Interferon alpha-2b (PegIFN) Virafin will be available only on the prescription of medical specialists and is meant for use in institutional setups or hospitals.

Virafin was originally approved for the treatment of liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus and was launched in India 10 years ago. The drug is now being repurposed to treat patients with coronavirus infection. The EUA has been granted after several trials, conducted across India, indicated that the drug was able to control respiratory distress and failure – considered to be one of the biggest challenges for health care providers. The trial also indicated that patients who received the drug required less supplemental oxygen. Virafin is also known to have efficacy against other viral infections.

Cadila Healthcare Managing Director Dr. Sharvil Patel said that the approval comes at a much-needed time. “The drug offers a therapy which significantly reduces viral load and thus helps in better management of the disease. We will continue to provide patients access to critical therapies during the fight against Covid-19,” he said.

The company emphasized that along with faster viral clearance, the drug has several add-on advantages when compared to other available antiviral agents.

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