Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Restricted emergency use approval from DCGI for Zydus’ PegIFN ‘Virafin’ to treat moderate COVID-19 in adults – Express Healthcare

Read Article

Single dose of Virafin administered subcutaneously early on shows significant clinical and virological improvement in moderate COVID-19 adult patients with 91.15 per cent of patients treated with PegIFN testing RT PCR negative by day 7

Zydus Cadila has received Restricted Emergency Use Approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for the use of ‘Virafin’, Pegylated Interferon alpha-2b (PegIFN) in treating moderate COVID-19 infection in adults. A single dose subcutaneous regimen of the antiviral Virafin will make the treatment more convenient for the patients.

As per a company release, when administered early on during COVID-19, Virafin will help patients recover faster and avoid much of the complications. Virafin will be available on the prescription of medical specialist for use in hospital/institutional setup.

In the multicentric trial conducted in 20-25 centers across India, Virafin had shown 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. The drug has also shown efficacy against other viral infections.

Speaking on the development, Dr Sharvil Patel, Managing Director, Cadila Healthcare said, “The fact that we are able to offer a therapy which significantly reduces 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.”

In its Phase III clinical trials, the therapy had shown better clinical improvement in the patients suffering from COVID-19. During the trials, a higher proportion of patients administered with PegIFN arm were RT PCR negative by day 7. The drug ensures faster viral clearance and has several add-on advantages compared to other anti-viral agents.

As per the release, Type I interferons are the body’s first line of defence against many viral infections and Pegylated Interferon alpha-2b has been used to treat these infections successfully. Interferon alpha has also been implicated as crucial in the protection against SARS-CoV-2 in the recent publications in the leading journal Science.

Furthermore, aging reduces the body’s ability to produce Interferon Alpha in response to viral infections and may be associated with the higher mortality observed with COVID-19 in elderly patients. Virafin when given early on during infection can replace this deficiency and aid a faster recovery process.

The company acknowledged the support of BIRAC, in the development of Virafin for the treatment of COVID-19.

Phase III clinical trial data

The Phase III trials demonstrated that a higher proportion of patients in the PegIFN arm showed a two point statistically significant clinical improvement (WHO 7-point ORDINAL SCALE) on day 8 as compared to the Standard of Care (SOC arm) (80.36 per cent vs 68.18 per cent).

Clinically the hours of supplemental oxygen required was significantly lesser in the PegIFN arm and as well as the time to resolution of signs and symptoms as compared to the SOC arm (5 days vs 6 days).

The findings are in line with recently reported importance of early IFN treatment in the treatment of COVID-19 (Lu et al, Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy (2021) 6:107)- a Nature publication.

Earlier the Phase II clinical trials study established the early safety, efficacy and tolerability of Virafin and indicated that Pegylated Interferon alpha-2b had significant statistical clinical impact on the patient suffering from moderate COVID-19 disease by reducing their viral load helping in better disease management such as reduced duration of oxygen support.

The results of the Phase II trial have been published in International Journal of Infectious Diseases [Efficacy and safety of pegylated interferon alfa-2b in moderate COVID-19: A phase II, randomized, controlled, open-label study, Anuja Pandit, et al., VOL 105, 516-521, APRIL 01, 2021.]

Source link

Latest Articles

Widely used chemical linked to 1,00,000 US deaths per year: Study

NEW YORK: Daily exposure to phthalates, a group of chemicals used in everything from plastic containers to makeup, may lead to approximately 100,000 deaths...

Foods to Reduce Inflammation and Strengthen the Immune System

Did you know that you can greatly reduce inflammation and boost your immune system by simply incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods and beverages into your...

Personal Selling

INTRODUCTION Early sellers and traders were not held in high esteem. The Roman word for salesman meant ‘Cheater’ and...

Building Muscle on a Vegan Diet

There are a lot of  misconceptions surrounding veganism. The notion that those who practice it are lacking in protein and therefore muscles is the...

Electrodes in brain new hope for severe cases of epilepsy

Neurosurgeons at All India Institute of Medical Sciences have devised a new technique for operating on children suffering from a severe form of epilepsy...