Hyderabad, April 30 (IANS) As part of its efforts for repurposing drugs in the fight against Covid-19, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT) has developed a convenient and cost-effective synthetic process for Favipiravir.
As a collaborative effort with industry, Hyderabad-based CSIR-IICT transferred the entire process and significant quantities of pharma grade Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) of Favipiravir to Cipla, a leading pharmaceutical company.
Favipiravir was developed by Fujifilm Toyama Chemical Ltd,and is an approved treatment for common influenza and is marketed in Russia, China and Japan. The generic drug is already being used for treatment of influenza and also is in clinical trials for Covid-19 in countries like China, Japan and Italy.
Cipla will be conducting the investigations prior to launching on this drug against Covid-19 in India. Cipla approached regulatory authority Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for approval for Favipiravir to be launched in India, an official release said.
Under the auspices of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Cipla will conduct a suitable limited trial prior to marketing the product as Ciplenza.
CSIR's emphasis is on repurposed drugs as they can be quickly deployed for treatment as opposed to new drugs which need almost a decade of development.
CSIR has identified top 25 drugs/drug candidates for repurposing to provide drugs for coronavirus patients in India. Among these top 25 drugs, Favipiravir, a broad spectrum inhibitor of viral RNA polymerase, has emerged as one of the most promising drugs.
CSIR and Cipla have a long history of working together for affordable drugs in India and globally. Many of the technologies for HIV generic drugs were established at CSIR labs and Cipla was successful in providing affordable treatment to HIV patients worldwide which led to saving millions of lives. They have assured the government that they will do the same for Favirpiravir, said the statement.