In news- Hyderabad-based pharma company Hetero has received emergency use authorisation (EUA) from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for restricted use of its generic version of Tocilizumab in India.
About the drug-
- The drug would be made available in India by the end of September under the brand name Tocira.
- Tocilizumab is originally an immunosuppressive drug, used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, a severe form of arthritis in children.
- It was jointly developed by Osaka University and Chugai, and was licensed in 2003 by Hoffmann-La Roche.
- Tocilizumab, which is a biosimilar version of Roche’s Actemra/RoActemra cuts the risk of death among patients hospitalised with severe COVID-19 along with shortening the recovery time and reducing the need for mechanical ventilation.
- Hence the drug has been facing a global shortage as the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant has driven up cases in several countries.
- It was granted an EUA for the treatment of COVID-19 in the United States in June 2021.
- Now in India, the medical practitioners would be able to use the drug for treating Covid-19 in adults who receive systemic corticosteroids, and even those who require supplemental oxygen, non-invasive or invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.
- It will be marketed by Hetero’s associate company Hetero Healthcare in India.