Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has launched antiviral drug Favipiravir for the treatment of mild to moderate Covid-19 patients. The company  received manufacturing and marketing approval from India’s drug regulator. It is the first oral Favipiravir-approved medication in India for the treatment of the pandemic.

“This approval comes at a time when cases in India are spiralling like never before, putting a tremendous pressure on our healthcare system,” said Glenn Saldanha, chairman and managing director of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals.

“We hope the availability of an effective treatment such as FabiFlu will considerably help assuage this pressure, and offer patients in India a much needed and timely therapy option.”

The approval for favipiravir in India, which Glenmark plans to sell as FabiFlu, was granted based on “evaluation of data”, the company said in a brief statement to stock exchanges.

Following the news, Glenmark Pharma share price surged 35 per cent, hitting upper circuit of Rs 552.25 per share on the BSE on Monday (22). It has touched a 52-week high of Rs 552.25.

The stock has surged over 169 per cent in the last three months,

The Mumbai-based company said the Drugs Controller General of India’s approval was part of India’s accelerated approval process and the drug was meant for “restricted emergency use”, meaning patients must sign their consent before being treated by the drug.

Favipiravir is also undergoing trials in other countries to test its efficacy as a Covid-19 treatment.

Glenmark began a late-stage trial of favipiravir on Covid-19 patients in May. It is also separately testing a combination of favipiravir and umifenovir, another anti-viral drug, as a potential Covid-19 treatment, reports said.