MUMBAI: In an indication of innovation in pharmaceuticals for Covid-19, Mumbai-based Glenmark may become the first company in India to offer an anti-retroviral, a class of drugs which has shown promise, and is being used as a potential treatment for the virus.
Glenmark has developed anti-retroviral (ARV) drug Favipiravir, which has shown positive results globally, and has applied for regulatory approval for trials in India, sources told TOI.
Faviparir has demonstrated good results against influenza viruses, including those that are oseltamivir-resistant, and has been approved in Japan and China. Globally, it is either anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, or anti-retrovirals/anti-virals like Favipiravir, Remdesivir and Lopinavir, that are increasingly being used for Covid treatment.
Japanese company Fujifilm sells the drug Favipiravir under the brand Avigan which has been approved in Japan since 2014 to treat influenza, and other viral strains that don’t respond to other therapies. The drug which was earlier used to treat Ebola became off-patent last year, which implies that generic versions can possibly be launched anywhere in the world.
When contacted, Glenmark confirmed it has submitted its application to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for marketing approval of Favipiravir.
Glenmark has developed the API in-house, which is believed to have been a big challenge as many firms are still trying to do so. Once the approval is in place, the company will conduct trials on 60-100 patients and launch the drug.