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Biocon Drug Itolizumab Gets Government Approval As COVID-19 Medication In India

Itolizumab drug will be available in the form of 25mg/5mL injections

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Indian Biotech firm Biocon drug Itolizumab has received clearance from the Drugs Controller General of India for treating moderate to severe COVID-19 patients. As per reports, the Itolizumab drug will be available in the form of 25mg/5mL injections. These injections will be available for Rs 8,000 per vial. Moreover, Itolizumab will be only used for the treatment of cytokine release syndrome in moderate to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome caused due to COVID-19.

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What is Itolizumab?

Itolizumab is a ‘humanised monoclonal antibody’ produced by immune cells that are cloned from a parent immune cell. The drug has been developed by Biocon in collaboration with the Centre for Molecular Immunology, Cuba. Itolizumab targets the CD6 protein found in the outer membrane of T-cell.

Biocon Executive Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said in a virtual press conference:

“Itolizumab’s unique mechanism of action made it an ideal candidate for treating the ‘cytokine storm’, which is a leading cause of death in Covid-19 patients. ALZUMAb has a seven-year proven track record of safety as doctors in India have been prescribing this biologic to treat acute psoriasis and ensure a better quality of life for patients and now we will be able to save many critically ill Covid-19 patients with our drug.”

She further added, “Until the vaccine comes, we certainly need life-saving drugs. I think what we are doing across the world is to see how we can either repurpose drugs or develop new drugs to treat this pandemic.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented havoc all over the world. There have been over 13 million cases of the novel coronavirus worldwide.

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