The immediate need for a vaccine to treat the novel COVID-19 virus continues to increase in gravity each day as the death toll and cases continue to rise with no sign of a flattening curve.
“Indian Pharmaceuticals join the race”
India has joined this race against time to develop a vaccine for the virus, including collaboration between US agencies and the ICMR.
In light of this, Bengaluru-based pharmaceutical company Strides Pharma Science has stated that it has received regulatory approval to conduct clinical trials of antiviral drug favipiravir considered a possible treatment for COVID-19.
The company has received approval from the Drug Controller General of India to enter the human trial stage of favipiravir in the country which was announced by Strides founder and non-executive chairman Arun Kumar in a post-earnings conference call.
The competition to manufacture a vaccine has emerged as a result of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals announced that it would be the first company in India to get a nod to conduct the Favipiravir trails. This Mumbai-based company has initiated late-stage clinical trials and expects study results by July or August.
Favipiravir is manufactured under the name Avigan by a unit of Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings Corp and was approved to be used as an anti-flu drug within the the country in 2014.
However, earlier this week, Kyodo News reported that there yet has to be clear evidence of the efficacy and potential for Avigan in treating the novel coronavirus in some clinical trials.
Strides late on Wednesday posted a fourth-quarter consolidated net loss of Rs 207 crore ($27.35 million), because it made a Rs 113 crore write-down of inventory and other expenses associated with the withdrawal of ranitidine products.
The company’s shares rose the maximum amount as 5.3 per cent to a two-week high in early trade, but pared some gains and were last up 1.8 per cent at 10 am.