The Molnupiravir Covid-19 pill developed by US-based biotechnology company Ridgeback has been approved for use in India.
It is the first anti-viral Covid-19 pill approved by Indian regulator. It will now be manufactured by 13 companies.
The drug can be used for the treatment of adult patients suffering from Covid-19 and who have a high risk of progression of the disease.
The drug, codenamed MK-4482, EIDD-2801 was developed initially to treat influenza. It has now been repurposed for using to treat Covid-19.
The drug will be working by introducing errors into the SARS-CoV-2 virus’ genetic code. This will prevent the virus from further replicating.
The anti-viral will be administered as four 200 milligram capsules taken orally every 12 hours for five days, for a total of 40 capsules.
Approval outside India
The drug was approved by the United Kingdom in November, becoming the first country in the world to approve the drug.
Initial data showed that the drug is safe and effective for treating mild to moderate symptoms of the disease.
The US also approved in December the use of the drug for the treatment of mild-to-moderate coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in adults.
However, the drug is not authorized for use for longer than five consecutive days. It cannot be used in patients younger than 18 years of age.
Authorized companies in India
Companies such as Dr. Reddy Laboratories, Cipla, Natco Pharma, Optimus Pharma Pvt Ltd, Stride, and, Hetero will be among many others to manufacture the drug.