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    COVID treatment: Zydus Cadila says Pegylated Interferon Alpha-2b regimen less cumbersome, drug affordable

    COVID treatment: Zydus Cadila says Pegylated Interferon Alpha-2b regimen less cumbersome, drug affordable

    COVID treatment: Zydus Cadila says Pegylated Interferon Alpha-2b regimen less cumbersome, drug affordable
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Updated)

    Zydus Cadila has said its Phase III clinical trials with Pegylated Interferon Alpha 2b, PegiHepTM, have shown promising results in treating COVID-19.
    "In what could be a breakthrough in the disease management of COVID-19, the interim results indicate that PegIFN when administered early on, could help patients recover faster and avoiding much of the complications
    seen in the advanced stages of the disease," the company release said
    The company has sought approval from the Drug Controller General of India for the use of Pegylated Interferon Alpha-2b for treating COVID-19 patients.
    Pegylated interferon is a class of medication that includes three different drugs as of 2012: Pegylated interferon-alpha-2a, Pegylated interferon-alpha-2b, Pegylated interferon-beta-1a.
    They are used in the treatment of both hepatitis B and hepatitis C and multiple sclerosis.
    "PegIFN in COVID19 has several add-on advantages compared to other anti-viral agents. The treatment regimen would be less cumbersome and more
    affordable for patients as Pegylated Interferon Alpha 2b, is a single dose regimen," a press release by Zydus said.
    "It would also ensure better compliance.  Patients on Pegylated Interferon Alpha 2b during the trial also showed lesser need for supplemental oxygen, clearly indicating that it was able to control respiratory distress and failure which has been one of the major challenges in treating COVID-19," the release said.
    Zydus Cadila has said that interim results from phase III trials showed higher clinical improvement. 91.15 percent of patients treated were RT-PCR negative by day 7 vs 78.90 percent on other anti-virals.
    Pegylated interferon reduced duration for supplemental oxygen to 56 hours from 84 hours in moderate COVID patients, Zydus said.
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