Favipiravir and tocilizumab have been ranked by government tax force as the most promising drugs against covid-19. Hydroxychloroquine did not score high on the drug potential parameter or in the readiness index. Tocilizumab is an immune modulator drug while Favipiravur is an antiviral drug. TFORD is a government task force set up for repurposing of drugs. Favipiravir was approved in Japan for the treatment of influenza and is being tested currently in 18 clinical trials for covid-19. Tocilizumab is being tested in 21 clinical trials for covid-19 and has shown to be good therapy for patients who are very ill.
The drug was approved for rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Currently, in the US there are more registered clinical trials for coronavirus. There were other treatments considered for covid-19 like Acalabrutinib, Baricitinib, convalescent plasma steroids, Remdesivir and even Hydroxychloroquine. Before now Favipiravur had never hit in the market because there were concerns it could cause defects during birth. The drug has proven to disrupt the process by which coronavirus replicates. Its brand name is Auigan.
Tocilizumab was first approved by the FDA in 2010, it is able to block a severe inflammation usually seen in the lungs of coronavirus patients called a cytokine storm. Coordinator of the task force and Director, Dr V. Premnath said: “This is a first such readiness score and potential score we have prepared based on the assessment of molecules we are examing for the repurposing of drugs”.
The task force was set up by K. Vijay Raghavan, the government’s principal scientific advisor to access drug candidate and support good decision making. Assessment of the drugs was done based on heat maps and a scoring system to access the readiness of the drug for combating covid-19. There are currently 19 drugs under consideration of repurposing.