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NEW DELHI: Drug regulator Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved Itolizumab, for restricted emergency use on Covid-19 patients with moderate to severe acute respiratory distress. Itolizumab is already in use to cure skin ailment psoriasis.
The approval is based on clinical trial data submitted by drug maker Biocon, health ministry said.
Biocon — that has been selling the medicine under brand Alzumab in India for psoriasis since 2013 — submitted phase 2 clinical trial data to the regulator to repurpose the drug for Covid-19 patients. Officials said the results of these trials were deliberated in the subject expert committee of DCGI’s office.
The government said the drug is likely to bring down the cost of treatment of Covid-19 as compared to other investigational drugs allowed under the clinical management protocol for Covid-19. The company, however, did not disclose the price at which it will be selling the drug.
Several other drugs such as Tocilizumab, Favipiravir and Remdesivir are being repurposed in India to treat Covid-19 patients.

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