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For two antiviral drugs, Umifenovir and Remdesivir, Active Pharma Ingredients found by the Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT).
Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) and a pharmaceutical firm received antiviral Favipiravir API for approval to conduct animal/ human trials before releasing it into the market.
On Tuesday, Director S. Chandrasekhar said, “We are in the process of transferring two APIs to select pharmaceutical organisations for them to approach the drug control authorities for conducting necessary trials and approvals before manufacturing them”
Around 25 drugs were identified by CSIR for ‘repurposing’ for immediate disposition for COVID-19 as it would take at least 10-15 years if new drugs are sent to the market.
The synthetic ‘process expertise’ taken for development by the IICT showed a positive sign among the 5 drugs that went for trials. The names of those drugs are Favipiravir, Umifenovir, Remdesivir, Baloxavir and Chloroquine/Hydroxycloroquine.
IICT senior principle scientist’s Dr Raji Reddy and Dr. Prathama S. Mainkar said, based on the recommendations of WHO, we studied the reactions and structures of molecules by zeroing out a few molecules through the molecular modelling and this study made good progress.
For the API’s to make the drug giving reasonable solutions IICT develops processes. This is transferred for the purpose of commercialization to all the interested pharmaceutical firms.
The name of the promising drug for possibly treating COVID-19 is called Favipiravir. Japan developed this drug and it was used for treating flu.
In countries like China, Japan, and Italy, the trials on Favipiravir have begun and it has shown positive results so far.
Now, only based on the result of clinical trials and recommendations of DGCI, it will be decided if this drug should be sent to the market or not.
If the clinical trials turn out successful, then this drug should be out in two or three months. Besides, Dr. Reddy and Dr. Prathama A, said, that they might need additional information to work on the drug Umifenovir.
By Neha Makhija