COVID-19 drug: DCGI approves Biocon’s Itolizumab for use in emergency cases
New Delhi: In a watershed moment, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved Biocon Ltd's Itolizumab drug for emergency treatment of COVID-19 patients.
A press release from Biocon said, "Itolizumab is the first novel biologic therapy to be approved anywhere in the world for treating patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 complications. Biocon has repurposed Itolizumab, an anti-CD6 IgG1 monoclonal antibody launched in India in 2013 as ALZUMAb® for treating chronic plaque psoriasis, for the treatment of CRS in moderate to severe ARDS patients due to COVID-19."
The drug which is already been used to treat psoriasis, will be manufactured and formulated as an intravenous injection at Biocon’s bio-manufacturing facility at Biocon Park, Bengaluru.
Kiran Mazumdar-Shar, executive chairperson, Biocon, expressing happiness over the successful outcome said, "I am confident that this ‘first-in-class’ biologic will save lives and help reduce the mortality rate in our country.
She added, “This positions India amongst the leading global innovators in their effort to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic."
According to reports, the MRP is Rs 7,950 per vial and patients will typically need four vials. All around, it is likely to cost Rs 32,000 at the most.