Sunday, July 11, 2021

Eli Lilly taps 3 Indian drugmakers to bolster supply of COVID-19 drug baricitinib

Last week, Eli Lilly promised to supply India with thousands of tablets of its arthritis drug baricitinib to aid a surge of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the country and pledged to work with local companies to bring its supply up to speed. Now, it appears Lilly’s keeping its word. 

The Indianapolis-based drugmaker has signed licensing agreements with three Indian generic drugmakers—Cipla, Lupin and Sun Pharma—to expand baricitinib’s availability in the country, the manufacturers said in separate announcements on Monday. 

The royalty-free, non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreements mean Cipla, Lupin and Sun Pharma will now be charged with manufacturing and selling Lilly’s oral JAK inhibitor in India, which has faced a shortage of coronavirus treatments during its recent virus surge.

“Through this collaboration, we aim to join our forces with Lilly to accelerate access to baricitinib in India at a time when it is most needed,” Kirti Ganorkar, CEO-India business at Sun Pharma, said in a release. 

India has set daily records for COVID-19 infections and deaths as the recent crisis has taxed its supply of hospital beds, oxygen and morgue space. The country is now recording more than 366,000 daily new infections and more than 3,700 daily deaths, Reuters reports, although experts have warned those tallies could be an undercount. 

RELATED: Lilly scores FDA emergency authorization for Olumiant in COVID-19, its 2nd therapeutic option

In the face of India’s deadly emergency, regulators authorized baricitinib, Lilly’s oral TAK inhibitor, for emergency use when combined with Gilead’s antiviral remdesivir at the beginning of May. 

The combo therapy is intended for hospitalized patients requiring supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

Last week, Lilly said it would supply India with an initial 400,000 tablets of baricitinib to help the country battle its raging outbreak while also hinting at the forthcoming licensing agreements. When asked about the latest manufacturing deals, a Lilly spokesperson pointed Fierce Pharma to the company’s announcement from last week. However, Luca Visini, managing director at Lilly India, told Reuters that “more licenses to additional Indian generic manufacturers are expected to be announced soon.”

RELATED: Gilead, Merck step in to help India’s drug manufacturers fight surging COVID-19 outbreak

Additional supply of COVID-19 drugs has been a pressing need for India, which barred exports of remdesivir and the active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) used to make it in April in order to meet its own demand. As a result, local pandemic drugmakers have been rapidly scaling their capacities and making donations to help meet the country’s pressing needs. 

For instance, Gilead pledged in late April to help local manufacturers boost production of remdesivir, marketed as Veklury, while also making a donation of at least 450,000 vials “to help ease the immediate need for treatment.” 

Meanwhile, Merck announced that same day that it entered into non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreements with five generic manufacturers in India, including with Cipla and Sun Pharma, for its oral antiviral therapeutic candidate molnupiravir, which is currently in phase 3 trials for non-hospitalized patients.

Cipla also holds a partnership with Roche to produce and distribute its antibody cocktail, a combo of Casirivimab and Imdevimab, which received a fast-tracked emergency authorization in India last week. 

Source link

Stay Connected


Latest Articles

Covid’s second wave proves lethal for pregnant women

At SVP Hospital in Ahmedabad – one of the major Covid-19 hospitals of the city – 148 pregnant women with Covid-19 infection were admitted...

7 Tips to Keep Your Gut Healthy

This is common to say health (and illness) starts in your gut. If you have poor gut health, you’ll experience anything from wrinkled skin, to...

SII making first batch of Covovax: Poonawalla

The first batch of Covovax, a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Novavax Inc, is being manufactured at the Serum Institute of India's Pune facility, SII...

Sputnik V is safest among all Covid-19 vaccines, no deaths recorded: Buenos Aires study

A study by the Buenos Aires Ministry of Health to monitor the safety of the Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19 confirmed on Thursday that...

Telangana caps Covid treatment charges in private hospitals

Hyderabad: The government of Telangana on Wednesday issued orders fixing treatment and investigation charges for Covid-19 in private hospitals.The state government, which had capped...