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Glenmark receives regulatory approval for oral antiviral drug for the treatment of mild COVID-19

Manufacturing and marketing approval from India's drug regulator,

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Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Favipiravir, COVID-19, Glenn Saldanha

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has announced the launch of antiviral drug Favipiravir (brand name FabiFlu®) for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 patients. Glenmark has received manufacturing and marketing approval from India's drug regulator, making FabiFlu® the first oral Favipiravir-approved medication in India for the treatment of COVID-19.

Favipiravir is backed by strong clinical evidence showing encouraging results in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. The antiviral offers broad spectrum RNA virus coverage2 with clinical improvement noted across age groups 20 to >90 years.3 Favipiravir can be used in COVID-19 patients with co-morbid conditions such as diabetes and heart disease with mild to moderate COVID 19 symptoms.3 It offers rapid reduction in viral load within 4 days1,4 and provides faster symptomatic and radiological improvement.1,4,5 Of most importance, Favipiravir has shown clinical improvement of up to 88% in COVID-19 mild to moderate COVID 19 cases.3

Glenmark successfully developed the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and the formulation for FabiFlu® through its own in-house R&D team. Glenmark filed the product for clinical trial with India's drug regulator DCGI and became the first pharmaceutical company in India to receive approval for conducting phase 3 clinical trial on mild to moderate COVID-19 patients.

Commenting on the significance of this development, Glenn Saldanha, Chairman and Managing Director of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said, "This approval comes at a time when cases in India are spiralling like never before, putting a tremendous pressure on our healthcare system. We hope the availability of an effective treatment such as FabiFlu® will considerably help assuage this pressure, and offer patients in India a much needed and timely therapy option."

He added, "FabiFlu® has demonstrated an encouraging response in mild to moderate COVID-19 patients during clinical trials. Moreover, it is orally administered, and so it serves as a more convenient treatment option over other intravenously administered medications. Glenmark will work closely with the government and medical community to make FabiFlu® quickly accessible to patients across the country."

Favipiravir is approved in Japan since 2014 for the treatment of novel or re-emerging influenza virus infections. It has a unique mechanism of action: it is converted into an active phosphoribosylated form (favipiravir-RTP) in cells and recognized as a substrate by viral RNA polymerase, thereby inhibiting RNA polymerase activity.

Most patients exhibiting mild to moderate symptoms can benefit from FabiFlu® use. The drug will be available as a prescription-based medication for INR 103/tablet, with recommended dose being 1800 mg twice daily on day 1, followed by 800 mg twice daily up to day 14.

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