The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak has shed the entire world economically but the medical and pharmaceutical industry is in boom to the widespread need for medication at the moment. So far, over nine million population globally have been tested positive for COVID-19 and the need for successful treatment becomes an urgent need. The pandemic has accelerated the development of vaccines for novel coronavirus across the biotech industry. Both the pharma companies and research organizations are hand in hand to bring out the medication for the COVID-19 cure.
According to Xu Nanping, China’s vice-minister of science and technology, the first COVID-19 vaccine was expected to be ready for clinical trials by the end of April in China. Gilead’s ‘Remdesivir’ has demonstrated efficacy in treating the coronavirus infection as noted by the health officials from WHO.
Some of the most effective medication, approved for the treatment of coronavirus are jotted down the page.
US FDA approval of Chloroquine for emergency use
Limited emergency use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 is been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Chloroquine is tested in various clinical trials by medical academic institutions and government agencies. Also, other antiviral drugs are planned to be fast-tracked for testing coronavirus.
Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) was first developed in India as an anti-malarial drug. However, the drug is also a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug that helps to reduce swelling and pain in arthritis patients. Some laboratory tests suggested that HCQ can prevent COVID-19 infection. Since then, many nations including India have been using the drug as prophylactic and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has prescribed its use to all frontline workers and people working in close contact with COVID-19 patients.
Favilavir: The first approved drug in China for coronavirus
An antiviral drug, Favilavir, has been approved by the National Medical Products Administration of China, as a treatment for the coronavirus. In a clinical trial involving 70 patients, the drug has reportedly shown efficacy in treating the disease with minimal side effects.
Glenmark’s FabiFlu tablet
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Limited has announced the introduction of Favipiravir under the brand name Fabiflu in tablet form to treat mild and moderate COVID-19 cases in India. The company has received approval from the Indian drug regulator for manufacturing and marketing the Favipiravir in oral form in India as 80% of all COVID-19 positive cases are under the mild and moderate category. As the need of the hour is to cure the infection in its initial stages, patients can get treatment at home and have a faster recovery by its use, as per physicians’ prescription.
The Japanese Flu drug: Favipiravir
It is an antiviral drug that was developed by a Japanese pharma company, Fujifilm Toyama Chemical, to treat influenza and hence the name ‘The Japanese Flu drug’. According to the scientists, the drug showed antiviral activity against all the subtypes of the influenza virus and is seen to restrict the multiplication of the virus in the body of the host. Favipiravir restricts the RNA polymerase enzyme, a key protein enzyme for the virus to multiply inside the body of the host. Thus the virus will be disabled to replicate and spread in the host body.
The Ebola drug: Remdesivir
A US-based pharma company, Gilead Sciences, was the first to develop Remdesivir during the outbreak of Ebola. The drug was not effective in Ebola patients. Later, it was tested against coronavirus strains, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) in the year 2017. The research showed that the drug was able to stop the enzyme RNA polymerase which was necessary for virus multiplication which ensured that the virus could not spread in the body upon its use. The US FDA has issued emergency use authorization for the use of Remdesivir for treating severe COVID-19 patients for its effectiveness against the virus infection.
Anti-parasitic drug: Ivermectin
The drug ‘Ivermectin’ is still under trials to effective treatment of coronavirus. The drug is used for the treatment of head lice and intestinal worms. On testing against the coronavirus, scientists found that ivermectin could restrict the growth of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the cells of the host within 48 hours and kills it eventually. This drug has been tested effective against other viruses like dengue, influenza, and even HIV.
India’s first COVID-19 vaccine for human clinical trials is developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech Company in collaboration with the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV). To conduct Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials, the vaccine has received approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) and this makes it India’s first vaccine candidate to receive approval for human trials. No information regarding the nature and development of the vaccine has been announced yet.
The medications listed above have some in trials and others to curb the virus at a mild stage of infection. A complete remedy to treat the SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 infection is the most awaited vaccine at the moment. Globally, the medical team in entirety is in constant effervescence with the microscopic slide testing the weapon to kill the virus. There is an absolute hope to discover the medication very shortly. Until then, taking the necessary precautions to avoid the reach of the virus is essential.