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Anti-viral Favipiravir Used in COVID-19 Needs Extensive Research Before Adoption: Glenmark Pharmaceuticals
In an interview with IANS, Glenn Saldanha, Chairman and Managing Director, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, said the company hopes to see similar positive outcomes in Indian patients of Covid-19 during the clinical trials of anti-viral Favipiravir for COVID 10. Globally, as per reports COVID-19 patients treated with Favipiravir have shown positive outcomes, such as reduced symptoms and quicker disease recovery.
Saldanha said a single global protocol is insufficient to tackle every nation’s situation; we also need to rely on our own statistics and measures for control. “The same goes for treatment options, and that is why we are exclusively studying Favipiravir on the Indian population before adopting its widespread use in market”, he added.
Q: Glenmark has initiated Phase 3 clinical trials on anti-viral Favipiravir for COVID-19 patients in India. What will be the next step on this?
A: With the DCGI’s go ahead for phase 3 clinical trials, Glenmark will now be testing the efficacy and safety of Favipiravir in Indian patients. The data we receive at this stage of the trial will tell us if the antiviral can become a suitable and effective COVID-19 treatment in India. Following this, Glenmark will submit the clinical trial data to the DCGI and seek marketing approval for Favipiravir in the Indian market.
Q: Which hospitals in India are being enrolled for the study?
A: We have a good representation of leading public and private hospitals enrolled for the study. These are SSG Hospital & Medical College, Vadodara, Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital & Research Centre, Pune, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital & Medical Research Institute, Mumbai, Government Medical College and Hospital, Nagpur, Government Medical College and Hospital, Aurangabad, AIIMS in Raipur, HCG Hospital, Ahmedabad, Dr Balabhai Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai, and Kasturba Hospital, Mumbai.
Q: Favipiravir is a generic version of Avigan of Fujifilm Toyama Chemical of Japan. What has been the use of Avigan and has it been used for COVID?
A: Avigan has demonstrated activity against influenza viruses and has been approved in Japan for the treatment of novel influenza virus infections. Recently in the past few months and according to reports, post the outbreak of COVID-19, multiple clinical trials involving this drug have been initiated on COVID-19 patients in China, Japan, Italy, Egypt, a few Asian countries and in the US.
Q: What is the potential of the drug being tested?
A: Globally, as per reports COVID-19 patients treated with Favipiravir have shown positive outcomes, such as reduced symptoms and quicker disease recovery. Having internally developed the API and the formulations for the product, Glenmark hopes to see similar positive outcomes in Indian patients during these clinical trials.
Q: How do you view the coronavirus situation in India?
A: I believe India’s response to the health crisis has been prompt from the beginning, and is reflective of collective action by the center and state authorities, frontline health workers, private health sector and non-profit organizations. No doubt, there have been setbacks and loss of lives and livelihoods, and the country will take a while to recover from the effects of this damage. However, given the magnitude of our population and scale of the crisis, I think India’s timely and stringent response has helped a great degree in controlling the devastating impact of the disease.
Q: Different countries have shown varying infection and mortality rates with COVID-19. What are your thoughts?
A: There are several factors at play that determine a country’s infection and mortality rate. For instance, we have seen higher rates of COVID-19 in countries with a higher proportion of elderly population, or in countries that initiated their containment lockdowns at a later stage of the disease. This is why a single global protocol is insufficient to tackle every nation’s situation; we also need to rely on our own statistics and measures for control. The same goes for treatment options, and that is why we are exclusively studying Favipiravir in the Indian population before adopting its widespread use in market.
Q: How long do you think the lockdown should continue?
A: As you know, the central and state governments are closely monitoring the evolving situation, and we look forward to any updates from them on lockdown directives. (IANS)
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday asked the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to prevent dumping of toxic wastes in India. Speaking at an event to celebrate DRI's 64th foundation day, Sitharaman lauded DRI's compact strength of about 800 officers for their relentless efforts despite the imminent risks. The Finance Minister stated that the officers may be keeping a low profile, but they are acting like the frontline defence forces, doing spectacular work in safeguarding the economic frontiers of the country. "The recent smuggling attempts of huge quantities of narcotics, gold, red sanders, ivory, cigarettes etc. unearthed by DRI were appreciated by the Finance Minister," the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.
"Sitharaman said that the message through such enforcement actions should be such that these acts of brazen attempts at smuggling are nipped in the bud," the statement added. The Finance Minister also said that better coordination among the law enforcement and intelligence gathering agencies and sharing of actionable intelligence are the way forward in protecting the frontiers of the country more efficiently. "Sitharaman also asked the DRI to focus on interdicting dual use technology items as well as preventing the dumping of toxic wastes in our country," the statement said. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Nirmala Sitharaman, India, Toxic Wastes)
Tech giant Amazon has expanded the sound detection capabilities of Alexa along with more features. Alexa can now identify the sounds of running water and appliances beeping, reports Android Central. This means users can set up an Alexa routine to notify themselves when the washer beeps to indicate that laundry is finished, the report said.
When Alexa detects that the faucet has been left open, it will send users a notification as well so they can take appropriate action, it added. Amazon previously said at its event in September that it would add the ability to programme Alexa to recognise custom sounds, but that feature has yet to arrive. Having said that, the two new sound detection capabilities not only help users save energy, but they also make it easier to avoid paying for unnecessary charges on your home utilities, the report said.
The retail giant has also announced ultrasound motion detection, which will allow you to set up "Occupancy Routines" on additional Echo devices. This feature allows your smart speaker to detect nearby motion and initiate a routine, such as turning on the lights. It is compatible with many of the best Alexa speakers including the 4th-gen Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: laundry, appliances, beeping, running water, Sound, Alexa , Amazon)
By Olivia Sarkar
Comforting Christmas cocktails help you enjoy the celebrations and get into the festive spirit. The Leela Palaces, Hotels, and Resorts offer distinctive cocktails ranging from Hot Toddies to Decadent Egg Nogs. Sit back and enjoy one martini at a time to make the festive season a little brighter.
Dirty Chai Eggnog:
30 ml Bourbon
30 ml Baileys
90 ml Hot milk tea
Sweet cream foam to top up
Cinnamon powder and star anise.
1. In a heavy bottomed med sauce pot, prepare tea with milk. Strain and let it cool.
2. In a cocktail shaker add egg white, Bourbon, Baileys with whole spices. Shake well.
3. Pour the tea in the glass followed by ingredients from cocktail shaker.
4. Garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon powder, whole star anise
Eggnog is a Christmas favourite that is accustomed to toasts for good health and prosperity.| Pikist
Inspired by the Christmas Spirits and holiday flavours is a wonderful concoction of warm whisky, sweet vanilla, and thick butter.
45 ml Butter fat washed Whiskey
20 ml Ginger bread syrup
15 ml Spiced Apple liquor
2 dashes of Bitters
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1. Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker
2. Shake well
3. Pour into an old-fashioned glass
4. Garnish with Gingerbread cookie
Inspired by the Christmas Spirits and holiday flavors is a wonderful concoction of warm whisky, sweet vanilla, and thick butter. | Flickr
(Keywords: Santa's Apple, Egg Nogs, December, Cocktail, Cocktail, Christmas, holiday, celebrations)