Glenmark to start trial of favipiravir combo drug for moderate covid-19 symptoms1 min read . Updated: 26 May 2020, 02:23 PM IST
- It will compare the efficacy of the combination drug with that of favipiravir over a 14-day period
- Both favipiravir and umifenovir have inhibited virus infection in-vitro
NEW DELHI: Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd on Tuesday announced that it will soon start a study to test the combined efficacy of two antiviral drugs--favipiravir and umifenovir--as a potential covid-19 treatment strategy.
While the company is already conducting a trial of favipiravir on mild-to-moderate covid-19 symptoms, the combination drug is aimed at moderate infection in hospital settings. In its trials involving only favipiravir, the company has so far randomised 30 patients of the 150 it plans to enroll.
As part of the 158-patient randomized, open-label study of the drug combination, called the ‘FAITH’ trial, the Mumbai-based pharmaceutical firm will compare the efficacy of the combination drug against just favipiravir over a 14-day period while providing standard care to the patients, as per a company release.
The two drugs have a very different mechanism in how they combat the novel coronavirus, or the SARS-CoV2.
While favipiravir inhibits RNA polymerase activity that is required for viral replication, umifenovir impedes the viral attachment to cells and acts as a viral entry inhibitor. Umifenovir also induces production of interferon, a signalling protein released by an infected cell that heightens antiviral defences of nearby cells.
Both favipiravir and umifenovir have inhibited virus infection in-vitro, and the company now plans to examine whether early administration of the combination can enhance antiviral efficacy on covid-19 patients.
"Combining antiviral agents that have a good safety profile and act on different stages of viral life-cycle is an effective treatment approach to rapidly suppress initial high viral load and lead to overall improvement in clinical parameters," Monika Tandon, Glenmark’s vice president and head of clinical development global specialty and branded portfolio, was quoted as saying in a release.
"Beyond its many potential patient treatment benefits, we also hope the combination therapy will reduce infection risk amongst medical professionals and healthcare workers by reducing the duration of virus shedding from treated patients."
With the company already having started a clinical trial of favirpiravir, it hopes to begin the clinical trial of combination drugs soon.