New Repurposing Drug For Covid-19 By CSIR and CIPLA
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is at the forefront of India’s fight against COVID-19. As repurposed drugs can be quickly deployed for treatment compared to the new ones, the CSIR had been emphasizing on its development. Many drugs are under clinical trials globally to confirm their efficacy against the novel coronavirus.
CSIR has chosen twenty-five drug candidates for repurposing for the treatment of novel coronavirus patients in India. One of the most promising drugs among the 25 drug candidates is the Favipiravir – a broad-spectrum inhibitor of viral RNA polymerase. It is an approved treatment for common influenza, developed by Fujifilm Toyama Chemical Ltd. and marketed in China, Japan, and Russia.
The drug is already in clinical trials for COVID-19 in many countries like Japan, Italy, and China. Hyderabad based CSIR-IICT has developed a cost-effective and convenient synthetic process for the manufacturing of Favipiravir, the new repurposing drug for COVID-19. The institute has transferred the entire process and significant quantities of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) of Favipiravir to Cipla, as a collaborative effort with industry. Cipla is a leading drug manufacturing company based in India. Prior to thelaunching of this drug as a treatment for COVID-19, Cipla will be conducting investigations.
For the drug’s approval to be launched in India, Cipla has already approached the regulatory authority in India, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). Cipla will conduct a suitable limited trial prior to marketing the product as Ciplenza under the auspices of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
CSIR had been collaborating with Cipla for many years for the development of affordable drugs in India and overseas. Cipla was able to provide affordable treatment to HIV patients worldwide using the technologies developed at CSIR labs and Cipla for the development of HIV generic drugs. Millions of HIV patients’ lives were saved with this invention. Cipla and CSIR have assured the government that they will do the same for the new repurposing drug, Favirpiravir for COVID-19.