Pharmaceutical major Cipla Limited has announced receiving regulatory approval by the drug controller general of India (DCGI) for launching Favipiravir in the country to be sold under the brand name Ciplenza for restricted emergency use for the treatment of coronavirus patients.
The company said that as part of its efforts to meet the demand for the medicine, it will commercially launch Ciplenza in the first week of August and each tablet will be priced at Rs 68.
“To ensure fair and equitable distribution of the drug, supplies will be undertaken predominantly through hospital channels and via open channels, prioritised for regions with a high burden of Covid-19 cases,” a press release on the company’s website stated.
The statement claims that an accelerated approval for Ciplenza’s manufacturing and marketing is aimed at meeting the urgent and unmet medical need for Covid-19 treatment options in the country.
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The drug has been jointly developed by Cipla and CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT).
“As part of this partnership, CSIR-IICT has successfully developed a convenient and cost-effective synthetic process for Favipiravir. The entire process and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) of the drug has been transferred to Cipla to manufacture and market the drug at scale,” the statement says.
Favipiravir is an off patent, oral antiviral drug, originally discovered by Fuji Pharma in Japan, and has shown promise in clinical trials for treatment of Covid-19 patients, especially in mild and moderate cases.
Director of CSIR-IICR S Chandrashekhar was quoted by news agency PTI as saying that the technology transferred to Cipla is very efficient and affordable, allowing the company to make large quantities of the product within a short span of time.
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CSIR director general Shekhar C Mande said Ciplenza was another example of the institute’s commitment to work with the industry to develop quick solutions and products for mitigation of Covid-19.
Earlier in June, drug manufacturing firm Glenmark Pharmaceuticals was given approval from the Indian drug regulator to launch oral antiviral drug favipiravir for treatment of mild to moderate Covid-19 patients in the country.
Another Indian pharmaceutical company Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (Dr Reddy’s) had recently announced signing a tripartite agreement with two international firms based in Japan and the UAE for the development, manufacturing and sales of favipiravir innovator brand Avigan.