INDIA – Zydus Cadila received final approval from the US Food Drug Administration to sell new generation anti-depressant Vortioxetine in the strengths of 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg in US market.

The drug was first approved around seven years ago, and was developed by Denmark-based pharmaceuticals maker Lundbeck in the late 2000s.

Vortioxetine works by increasing serotonin in the brain by preventing the elimination and reuptake of seratonin in the brain, and is classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and serotonin receptor modulator.

Zydus has been on a winning streak as its indigenously developed Covid vaccine ZyCoV-D recently received Emergency Use Authorisation from India’s drug regulator, making it the first vaccine in the country which would be administered in the age group of 12-18 years.

Other vaccines such as Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V vaccines are being given to only those above 18 years and unlike ZyCoV-D, which is three-dose, these are administered in two doses.

As the Asian countries makes strides to bolster their vaccine portfolio, Covid-19 infections seem to be declining. In the past week, India recorded a 15% drop in fresh Covid-19, the lowest weekly count in more than six months, with Kerala numbers declining by a steep 21%.

The country reported over 214 thousand new cases in the week, down from 251 thousand in the previous seven days. This was the lowest number of cases reported in 27 weeks.

This was the second consecutive week of a substantial decline in Covid-19 numbers. Last week, cases in the country had seen a 13% drop, while in the previous seven days, numbers were mainly flat with a drop of just 0.6%.

The sharp fall in infections were mainly due to numbers dropping in Kerala, the worst affected state in India, which still accounted for 62% of all cases in the country during the week.

Kerala reported 133 thousand fresh cases, a drop of 20.6% from the previous week’s tally of over 167 thousand. Two weeks earlier, Kerala’s weekly case count had crossed 200,000 as the latest wave of the pandemic in the state peaked.

Cases continued to decline in Maharashtra region while Mizoram and Tamil Nadu registered a rise in infections during the week.

India recorded 2,315 deaths from the virus in the week, a 10% increase from the previous week’s toll of 2,104.

Meanwhile, yesterday, India reported 30,814 fresh cases, nearly the same as the number on the previous day (31,242), as Kerala logged 19,653 new infections. The state had recorded 19,352 cases the previous day.

There were 295 deaths from the virus, with Kerala reporting 152 fatalities, Maharashtra 49, Tamil Nadu 27, Karnataka 16 and Bengal 11.

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