Hyderabad-based Avra Laboratories on Monday said it had received regulatory approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) to manufacture and market Favipiravir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API), which is used to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 patients.
Avra Lab said it has developed an alternative low-cost and highly efficient manufacturing process and is now supplying commercial quantities to Cipla for the launch of Ciplenza, the generic version of Favipiravir. It will be manufacturing Favipiravir for Cipla's Ciplenza launch, the company said.
"I am very pleased to be working with Cipla and Dr Yusuf Hamied again with whom I share a five-decade-long association and friendship, during which time we collaborated on several projects to produce lifesaving drugs, including anti-cancer, anti-HIV/AIDS and several other generic products. The current pandemic has brought us together to work tirelessly for the speedy launch of Favipiravir," Dr AV Rama Rao, Chairman, Avra Laboratories, said in a statement.
Founded by Dr. A. V. Rama Rao, former Director of the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Avra Lab is a contract research and manufacturing services (CRAMS) company.
Last week, Cipla had received the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) approval for the launch of Favipiravir in India under the brand name Ciplenza in the first week of August priced at Rs 68 per tablet. The drug, which has been jointly developed by Cipla and CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), will be supplied to regions with a high burden of COVID-19 cases through hospital channels and open channels.
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.
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.
By Chitranjan Kumar