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COVID-19 treatment: Encouraged by clinical trials for Itolizumab, says Biocon’s Shaw

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Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Biocon head Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, said she was very encouraged by the clinical trials for Itolizumab--better known by its brand name ALZUMAb which has received approval from the Indian drug regulator for the treatment of COVID-19.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Biocon head Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, said she was very encouraged by the clinical trials for Itolizumab--better known by its brand name ALZUMAb which has received approval from the Indian drug regulator for the treatment of COVID-19.
Shaw said many doctors have started using the drug and more than 150 people have recovered.
“This is a hospital-based treatment, it’s an infusion. It costs Rs 7,950 per vial – that’s the MRP cost and this is a treatment that has to be delivered in the hospital, it has to be carefully monitored,” she said, adding that the total treatment would cost around Rs 35,000.
On the pricing of Itolizumab, Shaw said that biologics were expensive to make.
Another hospital-only drug Remdesivir is being sold at a price range of Rs 4000-5400 per 100 mg vial. Remdesivir injectible is given to moderate to severe patients and each patient needs 6 vials for a complete dosage and hence roughly Rs24000 - 28000 for the treatment.
Cipla has priced the drug at Rs 4,000 per 100 mg vial, compared to Hetero's Rs 5,400. For bulk orders like the Bombay Municipal Corporation, Hetero is supplying at Rs 4,144 per vial.
For mild to moderate cases, the drug Favipiravir, sold by Glenmark under the brand name FabiFlu is available as a 200 mg tablet at MRP of Rs 3,500 for a strip of 34 tablets. Rs 103 per tablet. For a complete course of 14 days, the treatment would cost over Rs14000. Glenmark, however, says patients see improvement in 5-7 days and may not need to continue for 14 days.
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