Dr Reddy’s signs pact with Eli Lilly to produce Covid treatment drug in India

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has entered into an agreement with Eli Lilly and Company for the manufacture and commercialization of Baricitinib in India, the Hyderabad-based pharma company said on Tuesday.

Baricitinib has received restricted emergency use approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) for use in combination with Remdesivir.

The drug is to be used in the treatment of suspected or laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 infections in hospitalised adults requiring supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

“This partnership comes at a critical juncture in the fight against the pandemic in India, and adds to the company’s existing range of Covid-19 therapeutics covering the full spectrum from mild to moderate and severe conditions of the disease, and a vaccine,” Dr Reddy’s said.

“From the start, we have been determined to explore every possible avenue against Covid-19. Our collaboration with Lilly will help us make yet another treatment option available to patients in India,” the firm’s CEO (API and Services) Deepak Sapra said.

Eli Lilly and Company had on 10 May announced voluntary licensing agreements with Sun Pharma, Cipla and Lupin to expedite the availability of Baricitinib for treatment of Covid-19 patients in India.

“Lilly is committed to supporting India in this healthcare challenge through our innovative and effective portfolio of breakthrough medicines,” Luca Visini, managing director, India subcontinent of Lilly India, had then said.

“During the current surging Covid-19 pandemic, we have responded by issuing three voluntary licences for Baricitinib by pharmaceutical companies in India to accelerate its local manufacturing and distribution under best quality conditions,” he added.

On 4 May, Lilly announced that an initial donation of 400,000 Baricitinib tablets was being made immediately available through the humanitarian aid organization, Direct Relief, to the Indian government for eligible hospitalized Covid-19 patients in India.

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