India’s drug regulator has recently given restricted emergency use approval for the use of pegylated interferon alpha-2b (PegIFN) branded as Virafin, in treating moderate Covid-19 infection in adults, announced Zydus Cadila.
When administered early on during Covid, PegIFN may help enhance recovery in patients and avoid much of the complications, the company said in a statement. PegIFN (virafin) which is available as a single dose subcutaneous regimen will now be available on the prescription of medical specialist for use in hospitals.
In a multicentric trial conducted in 20 to 25 centres across India, the antiviral PegIFN showed to reduce the need for supplemental oxygen, indicating that it was able to control respiratory distress and failure which has been one of the major challenges in treating Covid-19. The Phase III clinical trials thus showed better clinical improvement in the patients suffering from the infection.
“The fact that we are able to offer a therapy which significantly reduces the viral load when given early on can help in better disease management. It comes at a much-needed time for patients and we will continue to provide them access to critical therapies in this battle against Covid-19,” said Sharvil Patel, Managing Director, Cadila Healthcare.