Cipla on Friday said it has received the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) approval for the launch of experimental coronavirus drug Favipiravir in India for treatment of COVID-19 patients. The drug, which is used to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 patients, will be commercially launched under the brand name Ciplenza in the first week of August priced at Rs 68 per tablet.
"The accelerated approval for manufacturing and marketing of the drug is aimed at meeting the urgent and unmet medical need for COVID-19 treatment options in the country through restricted emergency use," Cipla said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Favipiravir is an off patent, oral anti-viral drug that has been shown to hasten clinical recovery in COVID -19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms.
The drug supply will be undertaken through hospital channels and via open channels, prioritised for regions with a high burden of COVID-19 cases.
The drug has been jointly developed by Cipla and CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT). As part of this partnership, CSIR-IICT has successfully developed a convenient and cost-effective synthetic process for Favipiravir, the pharma major said.
The entire process and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) of the drug has been transferred to Cipla to manufacture and market the drug at scale, it added.
Cipla has already launched the generic version of COVID-19 treatment drug Remdesivir under its brand name 'CIPREMI' after receiving approval from the DGCI for "restricted emergency use" on adult and paediatric patients hospitalised with suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection. The company has priced the antiviral drug Remdesivir at Rs 4,000 per vial. A patient would need five vials of the drug.
Ahead of the announcement, shares of Cipla settled day's trade at Rs 665.50, down 0.90 per cent, against previous closing price of Rs 671.55 on the BSE.