Glenmark of Mumbai starts clinical trial of Favipiravir against Covid-19. Image Courtesy – https://www.dailysabah.com
Medical experts of Indian already told that application of Japanese anti-retroviral drug ‘Favipiravir’ are underway in China, Japan, Russia and Italy to treat Covid-19 infections. Now, the Glenmark Pharmaceuticals in Mumbai is set to launch a clinical trial of ‘Favipiravir’ with the approval of the country’s Drug Controller General.
Shekhar C Mande, Director General, the Center for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), a government agency in India, said that the anti-retroviral drug could do well in corona patients. CSIR is the largest research and development government agency in India. He told that the benefits of this drug have already been reported in China and Japan. Trials of the drug were also reported in Italy. Shekhar C Mande said that the experimental application of this drug will also start in India. Other anti-viral drugs such as the Ebola combating drug Remedivir, HIV drug Lopinavir and Ritonavir have also been included in the list of clinical trials.
According to Shekhar C Mande, Favipiravir has become ‘end to end synthesis’. It has been observed that there is no need to import any material from abroad for the production of this drug. Everything we can use in this country.
‘Favipiravir’ is made by the Toyama Chemical of Japan. The brand name of this drug is ‘Avigan’. When the outbreak of influenza virus reached a critical stage in 2014, the drug was developed by the company. This drug became a major weapon of scientists to cure influenza at that time. Since there are some similarities between the genes of the SARS-COV-2 virus and the influenza virus, the scientists claim that ‘Favipiravir’ will work in the same way to cure this deadly Covid-19.
Scientists say the drug is a derivative of ‘Pyrazinecarboxamide’. Tests on animals of this drug have been successful. This drug can reduce influenza virus, yellow fever, any viral infections of hands and feet. Basically the chemical formula of this drug can reduce the harmful effects of an RNA virus.
This SARS-COV-2 is a single-stranded RNA virus and its spike protein enters into the cell in association with the carrier cell protein.
This viral strain has become much more lethal due to multiple genetic mutations. There have been so many chemical changes in it that it is not yet possible to stop this virus. And this particular strain of beta-corona has become much more contagious than the five common flu viruses. Scientists say that this antiviral drug will stop this genetic mutation. If the structure of the gene cannot be changed, the invasive power of the virus will gradually decrease.
No toxic effects of this drug have yet been observed in human cells. Scientists claim that the drug does not interfere with RNA and DNA synthesis. So no harmful side effects have been observed so far.
Clinical trials of this drug are presently undergoing in China, Japan and Italy. The drug has been administered to patients at three hospitals in Massachusetts. The drug has been tested on 50 corona positive patients at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.