Glenmark gets approval for Covid-19 treatment in India
At a time when Covid-19 patients are increasing day by day, there may be a cause for some relief in the Indian scenario. Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. has received regulatory approval in the country to manufacture and sell oral antiviral drug Favipiravir to treat mild-to-moderate Covid-19 infections in the country.
According to media sources, the Mumbai based company announced a study to examine the combined usefulness of two antiviral drugs – Favipiravir and Umifenovir as a potential treatment for Covid-19 patients. In a statement issued by the company, it said that with the two antiviral drugs having different mechanisms of action, their combination can effectively tackle high viral loads in the early stages of the infection in patients. Dr. Monika Tandon, Vice President and Head, Clinical Development Global Speciality/Branded Portfolio, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. said to media, “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 overall improvement in clinical parameters.”
For this new combination of clinical trials called ‘FAITH’, a group of hospitalised patients with moderate Covid-19 infection were enrolled and randomly divided into two groups. The duration of the treatment was 14 days with one group receiving Favipiravir and Umifenovir with standard supportive care and the other group receiving Favipiravir with standard supportive care.
Following the approval, the company stated that the sanction was a part of the country’s accelerated approval process. The drug is meant for ‘restricted emergency use’ and hence requires the patient’s approval before treating with it. The company also informed that it is undergoing trials in other countries in order to ascertain its effectiveness to treat Covid-19 patients.
Tea industry is suffering from loss in production
The Tea Association of India (TAI), in a recent statement, urged the Tea Board of India to hasten the process of disbursing the pending subsidy in times of financial stress. This happened amidst loss of revenue due to the ongoing Covid-19 related situation affecting tea production.
The market estimation of the tea industry is bleak owing to the prolonged lockdown. The crop loss for the period March - June 2020 is likely to be approximately 132 M kgs in north India. Out of this estimated decline, orthodox production of tea is expected to drop by 12-14 M kgs. Exports are also likely to witness a drop by 10%-15% at around 225 M kgs. Crop loss is up to June is 32% and auction arrivals are also lower by 59%.
Further, prospects of recouping in the coming months is difficult as massive rainfall is reported from north Indian tea-growing regions both in Assam and West Bengal. The cumulative effect of these phenomenon has brought the tea industry before a difficult time concerning payment of wages or bonus. The Tea Board India in a recent release stated, “Tea industry in north India has to face the twin challenge of how it meets and balances production targets, while managing operations of the gardens on the face of additional operative costs - in coping with challenges posed in combating Covid-19.”
CII organised a digital session with ECGC
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has recently organised a digital session with Export Credit Guarantee of India (ECGC) on partnering export growth. M. Senthilnathan, Chairman and MD – ECGC; Sunil Joshi, ED - ECGC and Sanjay Budhia, Chairman - CII National Committee on EXIM and MD - Patton. The session was organised on the need for cost-effective insurance to drive exports and bring back economic growth.
Sanjay Budhia said, “In these trying times, managing credit risk and taking protection against unforeseen losses has assumed further importance and there is a need to increase the flow of bank credit to export sector and timely settlement of claims.”
Senthilnathan mentioned, “ECGC is working under pandemic-related restrictions but they are trying their best to provide services to their clients. The working capital cycle of almost all the business units have been impacted. ECGC will be playing a counter cyclical role.”
Sunil Joshi stated, “The global economy is prone to multiple shocks of heavy debt burden, falling trade, reduced consumption, spending, and overall declining GDP.” He mentioned that the four major challenges are availability of finance, flexible commercial terms, geopolitical risks and increased insolvencies. He further added that ECGC’s role is to provide capacity by supporting longer tenors, high risks markets and high value transactions.
Companies like Tata Steel, Seimens, Escorts, Bajaj Electricals, J K Tyre, Bharat Forge, Patton International, Avaada Energy and Coromandel International joined from across the country.