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Iran produces anti-coronavirus medicine "Tocilizumab"


Source: Tehran Times

TEHRAN - The drug "Tocilizumab", confirmed to be effective in the coronavirus treatment, has been produced in Iran and will be distributed in hospitals in the next two weeks, IRNA reported on Monday.  In addition to Remdesivir, Tocilizumab has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help partially improve COVID-19, Heydar Mohammadi, an official with Food and Drug Administration said.


This drug has not yet entered the pharmaceutical market in the country and only a limited amount of it had previously been donated to China, which is still used in hospitals, he stated.

He went on to say that the subcutaneous injection of Tocilizumab or Actemra, which is used to treat rheumatism, is now produced by an Iranian pharmaceutical company, but the intravenous injection is used for COVID-19 patients.

Probably next week, the clinical trials and tests will be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and it will most likely be released and distributed in the hospitals during the next two weeks, he noted.

Iran previously produced the antiviral agent Remdesivir for the treatment of coronavirus patients.

So far, no effective and reliable medicine has been identified for the treatment of coronavirus in the world, but remdesivir and Actemra are prescribed for patients with this virus in Europe and the United States.

Remdesivir was studied in clinical trials for Ebola virus infections but showed limited benefit. Remdesivir has been shown to inhibit replication of other human coronaviruses associated with high morbidity in tissue cultures, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in 2003 and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012.

Burial of a coronavirus victim at Tehran's Behesht Zahra cemetery
(photo by Islamic Republic News Agency)

The number of people diagnosed with coronavirus in Iran reached 296,273 on Tuesday, of whom 16,147 have died and 257,019 recovered so far. Over the past 24 hours, 2,667 new cases of people having the virus have been identified, and 235 died, Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said.

Currently, 3,902 patients with coronavirus are in critical condition, she added.

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