Highlights Pharma to Conduct Trials in India for Potential COVID-19 Drug, Health News, ET HealthWorld


BENGALURU: Indian Pharmaceutical Company Forward Pharma Science Ltd said on Thursday that it has received regulatory approval to conduct clinical trials of antiviral drug favipiravir, is considered a potential treatment for COVID-19.

The Bengaluru-based company has received approval from the drug controller for India to conduct favipiravir trials in the country, Strides founder and non-executive chairman Arun Kumar said at a post-earnings meeting without giving more details.

Progress’ announcement comes after Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd said last month that it was becoming the first pharmaceutical company in the country to get the nod to conduct favipiravir trials. The Mumbai-based company has initiated late-stage clinical trials and expects study results by July or August.

Favipiravir is manufactured under the brand name Avigan by a device in Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings Corp and was approved for use as an anti-flu drug in the country in 2014.

However, on Wednesday, Kyodo News reported that so far there has been no clear evidence of Avigan’s effectiveness in processing the novel coronavirus in some clinical trials.

Progress late Wednesday posted a consolidated fourth quarter net loss of 2.07 billion rupees ($ 27.35 million) as it reserved a $ 1.13 billion rupee write-down of inventory and other expenses related to the withdrawal of ranitidine products.

The company’s shares rose as much as 5.3% to a two-week high in early trading, but some weights rose and were up 1.8% at 0430 GMT.


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