Biocon ‘s emergency coronavirus drug, accepted after trial on only 30 patients

Bengaluru-based Biocon’s Itolizumab, a medication used to cure skin ailment psoriasis, was authorised by the Medication Controller General of India (DGCI) for “limited emergency use” Saturday to treat patients with coronavirus. The company announced on Monday that, based on its clinical trials, approval was granted by India ‘s drug regulator for emergency use of Biocon’s Itolizumab drug on coronavirus patients with moderate to extreme acute respiratory distress in only 30 patients across four centres.

Biocon, a domestic biopharmaceutical firm, has been developing and selling Itolizumab, a monoclonal antibody drug, since 2013 under the brand name Alzumab for the treatment of patients with mild to serious chronic plaque psoriasis, the health ministry said. Biocon has also reported that, according to a study in News18, the clinical trials performed on only 30 patients decreased mortality, increased oxygen levels, and reduced body hyperinflammation.

The company has also claimed that in many parts of India, doctors and investigators have used ALZUMAb to save patients, and more than 150 patients have recovered in Maharashtra , Gujarat and Delhi. Dr Suresh Kumar, Lok Nayak Hospital’s medical director, told News18 that 11 patients had been enrolled for the trial and the findings were promising.