CSIR-IICT team led by Director S. Chandrasekhar was awarded the prestigious CSIR Technology Award 2020 for outstanding contributions to affordable healthcare by developing a novel and cost-effective process for the process technology of Favipiravir to combat COVID-19. Other members of the award-winning team include Ch. Raji Reddy, P. Nagender and Prathama S. Mainkar.
The awards were announced during the 79th CSIR Foundation Day celebrations held at Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, in the presence of Union Minister Harsh Vardhan.
Cipla partnered with the institute to launch the drug, Ciplenza, in the market in August first week. Dr Chandrasekhar expressed gratitude to Cipla chairman Y.K. Hamied, for joining hands in repurposing Favipiravir to combat the virus. The partnership between IICT and Cipla ensured the drug was available at an affordable price in the Indian market as a result of indigenous raw materials being used, he said.
The scientific team led by the director worked towards a process that made use of indigenous raw materials in the midst of global restrictions to control the current pandemic when a deterrent for imports from other countries was prevailing.