Here are some key drugs being tested for COVID-19 treatment
Several antiviral drugs are being developed and tested for COVID-19 treatment as scientists around the world race to find new methods to fight the pandemic and ease the burden on hospitals. Drug firms Merck, Pfizer, Zydus Cadila, and Glenmark are all involved in the process of developing or testing such medicines. Here are some of the key drugs.
Merck says its drug reduces death risk by half
American pharmaceutical giant Merck has said its oral drug molnupiravir has been found to reduce the risk of hospitalizations and deaths by 50% for patients with moderate COVID-19. The announcement has been hailed by officials and experts. The company and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics said they will soon seek emergency approval for the pill from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Pfizer conducting trial of its oral COVID-19 drug
Pfizer, which has developed one of the most effective coronavirus vaccines, is currently testing an oral antiviral drug to prevent the infection after exposure. It is carrying out a mid-to-late-stage clinical trial on the drug, called PF-07321332. Results from an early-stage trial had suggested the pill was "safe and well tolerated," Pfizer said in a statement.
Glenmark's nasal spray for COVID-19
Glenmark is conducting a late-stage trial of its Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray for COVID-19. Studies in the United Kingdom suggested it is highly effective in reducing viral load. It has tied up with Canadian firm SaNOtize to manufacture, market, and distribute the drug in Indian and other Asian markets. It aims to launch the product in the second half of the 2021-22 financial year.
Zydus Cadila testing monoclonal antibody treatment
Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila is the only Indian company so far to have developed a neutralizing monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19. Studies have found the treatment to be effective in early coronavirus cases. Further, Swiss drug maker Roche has also come up with a similar treatment method for COVID-19. That is currently under phase 1/3 trials in India.
NIPER, CSIR also testing their COVID-19 drugs
National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) is testing Life Viro Treat, a nebulizer-based therapy, for COVID-19. The state-run institute has collaborated with Supreme Industries to carry out the trials. Separately, the Council Of Scientific And Industrial Research (CSIR) has been conducting phase 3 trials of Umifenovir, a drug mainly used for the treatment of influenza.
Some other drugs being developed or tested for COVID-19
Some other drugs that are either being developed or tested for COVID-19 are Silmitasertib from Senhwa Biosciences, CBCC Global Research's Niclosamide, Gufic Biosciences's Thymosin Alpha-1, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries' purified aqueous extract of Cocculus hirsutus, and Syngene's Imatinib Mesylate.