Pharmaceutical or drug research work is taking speed in India. On one hand, the pharmaceutical company Glenmark is conducting phase three clinical trials on antiviral Favipiravir as monotherapy for COVID-19 patients in India. On the other hand, the company has announced that it has commenced another new phase three clinical trials on a combination of two antiviral drugs — Favipiravir and Umifenovir — in hospitalised moderate COVID-19 patients in India.
For this multiple drug therapy, the company has received permissions from the Indian regulator to start the study, the company added.
The combination of these two antiviral drugs may demonstrate improved treatment efficacy by effectively tackling high-viral loads in patients during early stages of the disease.
Both Favipiravir and Umifenovir have shown efficacy in the past COVID-19 clinical trials.
Commenting on this development, Monika Tandon, Vice President and Head, Clinical Development Global Specialty/Branded Portfolio, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd., said, “We consider Glenmark’s study will be pivotal in leading to identification of highly effective and safe treatments against COVID-19 in India. Beyond its many potential patient treatment benefits, we also hope the combination therapy will reduce infection risk amongst medical professionals and healthcare workers by reducing the duration of virus shedding from treated patients.”
Since 2014, Japan has been using Favipiravir, an oral antiviral drug, for the treatment of novel or re-emerging influenza virus infections.