Coronavirus pandemic | Cipla to expand portfolio for COVID-19 drugs over next two months, says CFO
Swiss company Regeneron has signed with Cipla for exclusive distribution of its imported antibody cocktail in India.
May 17, 2021 / 02:31 PM IST
Cipla CFO Kedar Upadhye said the company has obtained voluntary licences for Merck and Eli Lilly’s baricitinib and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s antibody cocktail, which it is expected to launch “over the next two months” (Representative Image)
Pharmaceutical major Cipla is looking to expand its portfolio of COVID-19 drugs over the next two months, according to company CFO Kedar Upadhye.
Speaking to Mint, Upadhye said the company has obtained voluntary licences for Merck and Eli Lilly’s baricitinib and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s antibody cocktail. The company plans to launch them “over the next two months”.
He added that the antibody cocktail’s timeline is “immediate”, adding: “Hopefully, we would be able to launch the cocktail in the next few days, subject to import.”
Follow our LIVE Updates on the coronavirus pandemic here
Swiss company Regeneron has signed with Cipla for exclusive distribution of the imported drug in India.
The Regeneron cocktail comes after partner Roche received emergency authorisation in early May. It is a “monoclonal antibody cocktail of casirivimab and imdevimab used to treat those with mild-to-moderate infection at high risk of hospitalisation”.
For baricitinib, Upadhye noted that it will take some time because the drug is “an approved product” and subject to the innovator (Eli Lilly) getting clearance from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI). He added that Cipla itself will also have to conduct some studies.
The Indian pharma giant is among five domestic companies that have signed a voluntary licensing pact with Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) for the production of molnupiravir. Notably, molnupiravir is an investigational oral antiviral agent that is currently under phase 3 trial by MSD and Ridgeback Biotherapeutic for use in mild-to-moderate COVID-19 cases
The third phase trials will have to be completed first in the US. After grant of emergency use authorisation (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration, MSD can approach DCGI for authorisation in India.
Final data on the drug is expected by October with USFDA approval likely in the second half of 2021.
Cipla at present produces the largest range of COVID-19 drugs in India including remdesivir, favipiravir, azithromycin and tocilizumab.Follow our full COVID-19 coverage here