Indian pharmaceutical company Cadila Healthcare Ltd has sought approval from local regulators to use a Hepatitis C drug as a treatment for COVID-19, following promising interim results from a late-stage trial, the company said earlier today.
A single dose of the Hepatitis C drug when taken early could help COVID-19 patients recover faster and avoid complications seen in the advanced stages of the disease, Cadila said in a statement.
About 91% of patients treated with the drug tested negative for COVID-19 in standard RT-PCR tests by day seven, compared to nearly 79% who were given the standard of care, the company said citing Phase-III clinical trial data.
The drug, known as Pegylated Interferon alpha-2b and branded as ‘PegiHep’ by Cadila, was originally approved for liver disease Hepatitis C and launched in India 10 years ago. It is being repurposed to treat COVID-19.