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Zydus gets emergency approval for the antiviral drug, may reduce oxygen demand among COVID-19 patients: Details

Zydus had applied for approval for the use of PegIFN earlier this month. In a statement released by the company, PegIFN was said to have reduced the duration for supplemental oxygen to 56 hours from 84 hours in moderate COVID-19 patients.

Zydus Cadila, an Indian multinational pharmaceutical behemoth headquartered in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, has been granted emergency approval by the Drugs General Controller of India (DGCI) for its Pegylated Interferon alpha-2b, ‘Virafin in treating moderate #COVID-19 infection in adults.

Zydus has claimed that 91.15 per cent of patients treated with PegIFN were RT-PCR negative by the seventh day. The treatment also significantly reduces the hours of supplemental oxygen needed by COVID-19 patients suffering from chronic health complications.

Zydus had applied for approval for the use of PegIFN earlier this month. In a statement released by the company, PegIFN was said to have reduced the duration for supplemental oxygen to 56 hours from 84 hours in moderate COVID-19 patients. The press release further added that the interim results of its trials indicated that PegIFN when administered early on, could help patients recover faster and avoiding much of the complications seen in the advanced stages of the disease.

“The treatment regimen would be less cumbersome and more affordable for patients as Pegylated Interferon Alpha 2b, is a single-dose regimen. It would also ensure better compliance,” the press release noted.

Regarding the reduced usage of medicinal oxygen by the patients, the press release said, “Patients on Pegylated Interferon Alpha 2b during the trial also showed a lesser need for supplemental oxygen, clearly indicating that it was able to control respiratory distress and failure which has been one of the major challenges in treating COVID-19.”

India is currently wracked by a resurgent wave of the coronavirus outbreak, with the daily number of cases crossing the 3-lakh mark. With infection rising at an alarming pace, several states across the country have reported depleted reserves of oxygen supplies as a large number of critical patients require the crucial life-saving gas.

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