Five Indian pharmaceutical giants will collaborate on the clinical trial of the anti-viral drug Molnupiravir. An experimental drug, Molnupiravir, is being touted as a treatment for mild cases of COVID.
The five companies are – Cipla Ltd, Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd, Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd, reported The Times of India. According to the agreement, the five companies will jointly sponsor, supervise and monitor the clinical trial in India.
When Will The Trial Take Place?
The trial is expected to take place between June and September this year across India, with the recruitment of 1,200 patients. Dr Reddy's Laboratories will be conducting the clinical trial using its product as per the orders of the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO).
The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has already approved the clinical trial protocol for the anti-viral drug. The other four companies will be required to demonstrate the equivalence of their product to the product used by Dr Reddy's Laboratories in its trial. Upon successful completion, each company will independently approach the regulatory authorities for approval to manufacture and supply the anti-viral drug.
According to experts, Molnupiravir is an oral antiviral drug that inhibits the replication of multiple RNA viruses, including SARS-CoV-2.
New Drug Permission For Emergency Use
On the other hand, Dr VK Paul, who heads the COVID Task Force in the country, confirmed that "new drug permission has been granted to Moderna, the first internationally developed vaccine. With this, Moderna's vaccine will be the fourth COVID vaccine to be available in India after Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik.
As per official figures, India recorded 37,566 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours taking the country's total to 3.03 crore. This is the lowest single-day spike since March 17 and less than 40,000 daily cases after 102 days.
Out of these, active cases fell to 5.52 lakh, while over 2.93 crore people have recovered. Notably, not a single state has reported more than 10,000 cases.