Hyderabad-based Avra Laboratories Pvt Ltd announced on Monday that it had received regulatory approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) to manufacture and market Favipiravir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) for treatment of COVID-19.
Avra has developed an alternative low-cost but highly-efficient manufacturing process and is now supplying commercial quantities to pharmaceutical major Cipla for the launch of Ciplenza, the generic version of Favipiravir, the company said.
"I am very pleased to be working with Cipla and Dr Yusuf Hamied again with whom I share a five-decade-long association and friendship, during which time we collaborated on several projects to produce lifesaving drugs, including anti-cancer, anti-HIV/AIDS and several other generic products. The current pandemic has brought us together to work tirelessly for the speedy launch of Favipiravir," Dr AV Rama Rao, Chairman, Avra Laboratories, said in a statement.
Avra Laboratories was founded by Dr Rao, a former Director of Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), a part of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
A recipient of the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award, Dr Rao spent his entire academic career working with and nurturing the Indian pharmaceutical industry till his retirement in 1995.
It was due to the efforts of Rama Rao and his research group at CSIR-IICT that helped develop anti-AIDS drugs for Cipla way back in the 1990's which ultimately led to saving of millions of lives.
Last week, Cipla announced that it received regulatory approval by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for launching Favipiravir in India to be sold under the brand name Ciplenza for restricted emergency use for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
The CSIR-IICT successfully developed a convenient and cost-effective synthetic process for Favipiravir and transferred the entire process and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) of the drug to Cipla to manufacture and market the drug.