Hyderabad-based drug maker Hetero said on Sunday that it had received approval of regulator Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to manufacture and market investigational antiviral medicine Remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19 disease. The company said in a press release that its generic version of US-based Gilead Science's experimental COVID-19 treatment Remdesivir will be marketed under brand name Covifor in India. Covifor will be available in 100 milligram vials (injectable) which have to be administered intravenously in a hospital setting under the supervision of a healthcare practitioner, it said.
Hetero said the product is launched under a licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences to expand access to COVID-19 treatment in low- and middle-income countries.
"In the light of increasing COVID-19 cases in India, the approval of Covifor (Remdesivir) can prove to be a game-changer given its positive clinical outcomes. Backed by strong backward integration capabilities, we can ensure that the product is immediately made available to patients across the country," said Dr B Partha Saradhi Reddy, chairman, Hetero Group of Companies.
"We are prepared for ensuring enough stocks required to cater to the present needs. We will continue to work closely with the government and medical community to make a difference in the fight against COVID-19," he said.
Hetero said Covifor will likely be priced at Rs 5,000-6,000 for a 100-mg dose, news agency Reuters reported.
Remdesivir has received approval of the country's drug regulator "for the treatment of suspected or laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in adults and children, hospitalised with severe symptoms of the disease", Hetero said.