NEW DELHI: The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved Biocon’s psoriasis injection itolizumab to treat COVID-19 patients.
Biocon’s psoriasis drug is approved for “restricted emergency use” to treat patients with moderate to severe acute respiratory distress, officials said.
The approval was given after clinical trials were found satisfactory by an expert committee for treatment of cytokine release syndrome in COVID-19 patients, an official said.
Biocon, a domestic biopharmaceutical company, has been manufacturing and marketing Itolizumab, a monoclonal antibody drug, for the treatment of patients with moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis since 2013 under the brand name Alzumab, the health ministry said.
“This indigenous drug has now been repurposed for Covid-19,” the health ministry said in a statement.
The average cost of treatment with Itolizumab is lesser than comparable drugs which are part of the “Investigational Therapies” indicated in the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare’s Clinical Management Protocol for coronavirus.
3/3The average cost of treatment with Itolizumab is lesser than comparable drugs which are part of the “Investigational Therapies” indicated in @MoHFW_INDIA‘s Clinical Management Protocol for #COVID19 #IndiaFightsCorona https://t.co/UYhzEJzDUA — PIB in Maharashtra 🇮🇳 (@PIBMumbai) July 11, 2020