Conflicting signals from drug regulator, COVID-19 national task force

There have been at least three instances where the drug regulator has approved a drug or vaccine but the COVID-19 National Task Force has taken a diametrically opposite stand and not included the drug/vaccine in the national treatment protocol. But the task force was quick to accept the and include the approval given to repurposed … Continue reading Conflicting signals from drug regulator, COVID-19 national task force

Two COVID-19 antivirals get FDA nod for emergency use

Paxlovid is not recommended for patients with severe kidney or liver disease, and if given to people with uncontrolled or undiagnosed HIV infection may result in HIV drug resistance. Molnupiravir is not recommended for use during pregnancy as the drug may harm the foetus. If full vaccination with any of the COVID-19 vaccines greatly reduces … Continue reading Two COVID-19 antivirals get FDA nod for emergency use

Restrictive voluntary license of COVID-19 antivirals compromises access, says Leena Menghaney

On the face of it, the agreement signed between the Medicines Patent Pool and the two pharmaceutical companies Merck and Pfizer appear to be making it easy to access COVID-19 antiviral drugs molnupiravir and Paxlovid, respectively. Yet, the voluntary license restricts the countries and population that have easy access to the antivirals. It even restricts … Continue reading Restrictive voluntary license of COVID-19 antivirals compromises access, says Leena Menghaney

Pfizer’s antiviral Paxlovid is a major advancement potentially for all coronaviruses, says Gagandeep Kang

Gagandeep Kang Besides 89% efficacy in preventing death and hospitalisation in specific groups that have high risk of progressing to severe disease when treatment is initiated within five days of symptoms showing up, Pfizer's antiviral against SARS-CoV-2 virus has been found to limit damage to lung tissue in human cells and mouse models of SARS-CoV-2. … Continue reading Pfizer’s antiviral Paxlovid is a major advancement potentially for all coronaviruses, says Gagandeep Kang

‘Pandemic far from over’ even as global death toll crosses five million

The global death toll from COVID-19 crossed five million on November 1 and yet the the global number of reported cases and deaths from COVID-19 is now increasing for the first time in two months. The first million deaths were recorded on September 8, 2020, nearly nine months after the first death occurred, while the two-million mark was breached three and a … Continue reading ‘Pandemic far from over’ even as global death toll crosses five million

SARS-CoV-2 virus less likely to develop resistance to molnupiravir: Gagandeep Kang

Preliminary data, which is yet to be peer-reviewed, shows molnupiravir can reduce risk of hospitalisation or death by 50% in non-hospitalised adult patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 disease. The trial included only those older than 60 years and have at least one comorbidity. On October 11, just 10 days after Merck announced via a press release … Continue reading SARS-CoV-2 virus less likely to develop resistance to molnupiravir: Gagandeep Kang

Explained: The discovery that led to organocatalysis gold rush

Catalysis is a term used to describe a process in the presence of a substance (the catalyst) controls and influences the rate and/or the outcome of the reaction. The substance — the catalyst — which helps in achieving this remains intact is not consumed during the reaction and neither becomes a part of the final … Continue reading Explained: The discovery that led to organocatalysis gold rush

Zydus Cadila’s antiviral drug for moderate COVID-19 disease gets emergency use approval

India's drug regulator has granted an emergency use approval to Zydus Cadila’s antiviral drug ‘Virafin’ to treat moderate COVID-19 disease. In the phase-3 trial, there was a higher proportion of patients administered the drug becoming RT-PCR negative by day seven due to faster viral clearance. The Indian drug regulator on April 23 granted an emergency … Continue reading Zydus Cadila’s antiviral drug for moderate COVID-19 disease gets emergency use approval

Preliminary study shows Covishield protects against double mutant variant

Preliminary studies carried out at CCMB show that people who have been vaccinated with Covishield have protection against the double mutant variant (B.1.617) first found in India. Protection against the variant was also seen in people who have been previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus. Preliminary studies show that people who have been vaccinated with Covishield … Continue reading Preliminary study shows Covishield protects against double mutant variant

India ill prepared despite lessons learnt in the first wave

After painfully negotiating numerous hurdles during the first wave that peaked in mid-September last year, India appears to have learnt little as more ferocious second wave is ravaging the country. After painfully negotiating numerous hurdles during the first wave that peaked in mid-September last year, India appears to have learnt little as more ferocious second … Continue reading India ill prepared despite lessons learnt in the first wave