India’s Drug Controller clears limited use of Itolizumab injection to treat COVID patients

A section of the media on Friday reported that India’s drug regulator has approved the usage of Itolizumab injection, a drug used to cure skin ailment psoriasis for “restricted emergency use” to treat COVID-19 patients with moderate to severe acute respiratory distress. Itolizumab is already an approved drug of Biocon for treating psoriasis for last many years.

The reports said that the decision was taken taking into consideration the current medical needs to treat COVID-19 patients.

Drugs Controller General of India, Dr V G Somani, approved the monoclonal antibody injection Itolizumab, an already approved drug, for restricted emergency use for the treatment of ‘cytokine’ release syndrome in moderate to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome patients due to COVID-19, the media reports said quoting officials from the drug regulator.

The media reports quoted officials of the country’s drug controller as saying: “The approval was given after its clinical trials on COVID-19 patients in India was found satisfactory by the expert committee comprising pulmonologists, pharmacologists and medicine experts from AIIMS, among others, for treatment of cytokine release syndrome.”