The Indian pharmaceutical manufacturer Hetero said on Monday that it has got approval for its Tocilizumab drug from the national medical authorities for emergency usage, in adult Covid-19 patients admitted to the hospitals.
The company is expecting to make Tocilizumab, the Covid-19 treatment available in India by the end of this month, under the brand name Tocira. Tocilizumab, which has been a sought after treatment for Covid-19, globally has seen an international shortage, as the Covid-19 Delta variant raises cases in several countries.
The drug made by Roche Holding AG, a Swiss multinational healthcare company, has been of great success. It’s an arthritis drug that cuts the risk of death among patients admitted to hospitals, with severe Covid-19. It also shortens the recovery time and reduces the need for mechanical ventilation.
In June the United States Food and Drug Administration approved Actemra, the name for Tocilizumab, manufactured by Roche, for emergency use in the treatment of Covid-19 patients.
Hetero Healthcare will make and market the biosimilar drug in India, under the name of Tocira. Biosimilar drugs are similar in structure and function to the biological drug, which is Tocilizumab, in this case.
Although Covid-19 cases have reduced in India considerably since the second wave, which hit the country in the month of April-May, health experts believe that there is a chance of a third wave in the, if the vaccination drive is not pushed further.
The Drug made by Hetero, according to the company’s statements will be used in individuals receiving systemic Corticosteroid (anti-inflammatory medications) and who need oxygen and breathing assistance to manage Covid-19.
The drug will be manufactured in Hetero’s manufacturing facility in Hyderabad and is expected to hit markets by the end of September.
-Supratik Mitra (06/09/21)