New Delhi: Towards providing drugs for Coronavirus patients in India, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has identified the top 25 drugs for repurposing and among these, the drug Favipiravir is on the top because of its property of broad spectrum inhibitor of viral RNA polymerase has emerged as of one of the most promising drugs for COVID 19.
Favipiravir was developed by Fujifilm Toyama Chemical Ltd and is an approved treatment for common influenza and also being marketed in Russia, China and Japan.
CSIR- Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), based in Hyderabad has developed a convenient and cost effective synthetic process for Favipiravir.
As a collaborative effort with industry, CSIR-IICT transferred the entire process and significant quantities of pharma grade API of Favipiravir to Cipla a leading pharmaceutical company.
Cipla will be conducting the investigations prior to launching on this drug against Covid-19 in India which has already approached regulatory authority Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for approval for Favipiravir to be launched in India.
Favipiravir is a generic drug and already being used for treatment of influenza and also is in clinical trials for Covid-19 in many countries such as in China, Japan and Italy. Under the auspices of ICMR, Cipla will conduct a suitable limited trial prior to marketing the product as Ciplenza.
CSIR and Cipla have a long history of working together for affordable drugs in India and globally. Many of the technologies for HIV generic drugs were established at CSIR labs and Cipla was successful in providing affordable treatment to HIV patients worldwide which led to saving of millions of lives. They have assured the government that they will do same for Favirpiravir.