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Hetero gets nod to make generic version of Tocilizumab drug to treat Covid-19 patients

Hetero's Tocira gets Emergency Use Authorization from DCGI for the generic version of Tocilizumab in India.

Hyderabad-based pharma company Hetero said on Monday it has received emergency use approval from the Indian health authorities to make a generic version of Swiss giant Roche Holding AG's drug Tocilizumab used for treating COVID-19 patients.

Hetero is likely to make the cheaper version of Tocilizumab available in Indian market by the end of the month under the local brand name Tocira. The drug will be produced at the company’s plant in Hyderabad.

Tocilizumab has been in high demand due to the surge in COVID-19 cases and there is a shortage of the drug worldwide.

Roche's blockbuster arthritis drug, tocilizumab, cuts the risk of death among patients hospitalised with severe COVID-19. It also cuts the recovery time and reduces the need for mechanical ventilation.

Hetero, also makes medicines such as remdesivir and favipiravir used for treating COVID-19 patients.