Mumbai, May 26: Glenmark Pharmaceuticals on Tuesday announced a new randomised, open-label study to test the combined efficacy of two antiviral drugs Favipiravir and Umifenovir as a potential COVID-19 treatment strategy.

The two antiviral drugs have a different mechanism of action, and their combination may demonstrate improved treatment efficacy by effectively tackling high viral loads in patients during an early stage of the disease, said the pharma major in a statement.

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Monika Tandon, Vice President and Head for Clinical Development Global Specialty and Branded Portfolio, said combining antiviral agents that have a good safety profile and act on different stages of viral life-cycle is an effective treatment approach to rapidly suppress initial high viral load and lead to an overall improvement in clinical parameters.

"We consider Glenmark's study will be pivotal in leading to the identification of highly effective and safe treatments against COVID-19 in India," she said.

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"Beyond its many potential patient treatment benefits, we also hope the combination therapy will reduce infection risk among medical professionals and healthcare workers by reducing the duration of virus shedding from treated patients."

A total of 158 hospitalised patients of moderate COVID-19 infection will be enrolled in the combination study and randomised in two groups. Simultaneously, Glenmark is also conducting phase 3 clinical trials of Favipiravir as a COVID-19 monotherapy option with 150 patients, enrolled from nine leading government and private hospitals across the country. So far, 30 patients have been randomised.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals is a global research-led company with presence across generics, speciality and OTC business with operations in over 50 countries. Its key therapy focus areas globally are respiratory, dermatology and oncology.

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