Biophore India Pharmaceuticals, a Hyderabad-based firm, has been given the licence to manufacture and export Favipiravir by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). Favipiravir, an antiviral medication used to treat influenza in Japan, has been approved by the drug regulator to treat mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 in India.
Biofore has also received approval in Turkey to export the API in collaboration with a local partner and additionally, it is in talks with India and Bangladesh and Egypt-based companies to commercialise the product. "The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasised the need for pharmaceutical companies to step up and develop effective solutions quickly, without compromising on safety. We have ensured that our favipiravir meets the highest standards of quality," Founder and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of Biophore, Manik Reddy Pullagurla said.
Favipiravir is an antiviral agent that was initially discovered and developed because of its activity against another RNA (ribonucleic acid) virus, the influenza virus.
The drug has also been approved for use against COVID-19 in Russia and parts of the Middle East. All starting materials and complex intermediates for making Favipiravir are either sourced locally or have been developed in-house for use, CEO of Biophore, Jagadeesh Babu Rangisetty said. "We are confident that this API will help our country move several steps forward in our united fight against COVID-19," he said, PTI reported.
Biophore is also awaiting the DCGI approval for Favipiravir's finished dosage form.
Another pharmaceutical company Glenmark has also launched antiviral drug of Favipiravir, named as FabiFlu, for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 patients. The company received marketing and manufacturing approval from the Indian drug regulator on June 20. Glenmark has cut the price of COVID-19 drug FabiFlu by 27 per cent to Rs 75 per tablet from the earlier Rs 103 per tab. The company cited the price reduction to gains from higher yields and better scale, as both the API and formulations were made at Glenmark's facilities in India.