India has given emergency use authorization for an anti-COVID-19 drug cocktail developed by Roche (ROG.S) and Regeneron (REGN.O), expanding its drug arsenal to fight a second wave massive infections.
The decision was made on the basis of data filed with U.S. regulators and scientific advice from a European regulatory committee, Roche’s India distribution partner for the drug Cipla said on Wednesday (CIPL.NS) .
The therapy is a cocktail of two antibodies Casirivimab and Imdevimab, which are synthetically engineered copies of antibodies that the body makes after infection.
It has been shown to reduce hospitalizations in patients with COVID-19 who are at high risk of developing serious illness.
The drug already has a similar authorization in the United States and is used in Europe for out-of-hospital patients. Former US President Donald Trump took the drug when he contracted the disease. Read more
Cipla said the drug is for people with mild to moderate infection who are at high risk of developing severe illness. The company did not provide a price or launch date.
In the past 10 days, more than 33,000 Indians have died from COVID-19, with the country facing a severe shortage of COVID-19 drugs, including Gilead’s remdesivir (GILD.O) and Roche’s tocilizumab.
The government and local manufacturers said they were working to increase production. India’s smallest drugmaker Natco Pharma (NATP.NS) said on Monday it had received authorization for emergency use of baricitinib, originally developed by Eli Lilly (LLY.N), for use with remdesivir to treat COVID -19.
India’s official coronavirus infection tally has passed 20 million and is second after the United States. Deaths have reached 226,188, but experts say the actual tally could be several times higher. Read more
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