India-based Hetero Labs has launched a generic version of antiviral drug favipiravir, under the brand name Favivir, to treat Covid-19 patients in the country.
The company secured approval from India’s regulatory authority to manufacture and sell its drug. The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) authorised the use of favipiravir for mild to moderate coronavirus symptoms.
Favivir is being manufactured at the company’s formulation facility. Priced at INR59 (79 cents) per tablet, the drug has been made available at all medical retail outlets and hospital pharmacies for prescription use across the country.
The medication has demonstrated positive clinical outcomes. It improves treatment accessibility to a significant amount of Covid-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms, added Hetero.
Favipiravir was originally developed by Japan’s Fujifilm under the brand name Avigan for treating influenza.
Apart from Hetero, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Cipla, Brinton Pharma and Jenburkt Pharmaceuticals in India are developing or selling favipiravir.
Following the manufacturing and marketing approval from DCGI, Hetero launched remdesivir under the brand Covifor in India last month.
The company secured approval for the use of Covifor to treat suspected or laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 cases in hospitalised adults and children.
Hetero is one of the drugmakers that obtained a licence from US-based Gilead Sciences to make remdesivir.
In May this year, Gilead Sciences signed non-exclusive, licensing agreement with Cipla and Hetero, along with Jubilant Life Sciences in India and Ferozsons Laboratories in Pakistan, allowing manufacture and distribution of remdesivir in 127 countries.
India is currently the world’s third worst-hit nation, reporting more than 1.5 million Covid-19 cases so far.