Hyderabad: Hyderabad-based Hetero has received the manufacturing and marketing approval for the investigational antiviral medicine ‘Remdesivir’ from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for treatment of Covid-19, to be marketed under the brand name Covifor.
Dr B Partha Saradhi Reddy, chairman, Hetero Group of Companies, said, “In the light of increasing Covid-19 cases in India, the approval of ‘Covifor’ (Remdesivir) can prove to be a game-changer given its positive clinical outcomes. Backed by strong backward integration capabilities, we can ensure that the product is immediately made available to patients across the country.”
The drug has been granted approval for the treatment of suspected or laboratory-confirmed cases of Covid-19 in adults and children, hospitalised with severe symptoms of the disease. It will be available in 100 mg vial (injectable), which has to be administered intravenously in a hospital setting. The drug is launched under a licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences.
Hetero Group of Companies MD Dr Vamsi Krishna Bandi told MEDIA, “Bulk drugs are being manufactured at our facility at Nakapalli, Visakhapatnam and formulations will be manufactured at our facility in Hyderabad (Shameerpet). The medicines will be made available in India within a week’s time.”
He added, “We are still working on the price, however, it will be between Rs 5,000 and Rs 6,000 per vial. As per the government guidelines, patients are recommended 5-6 doses who are hospitalised with severe symptoms of the disease. Since DCGI has recommended only for restricted emergency use, the medicine will be made available through government channels — hospitals and medical institutions. It won’t be sold through retail. Currently, we are focusing on India. However, we plan to supply the drug to overseas markets such as Asia and African markets on demand.”