New Delhi: A hmedabad-based drug maker Cadila Healthcare Ltd, also known as Zydus Cadila, became the first Indian firm to get the regulator’s nod to market the country’s first indigenous H1N1 flu vaccine, it announced on Wednesday. Shares of the firm surged 2.51% on the Bombay Stock Exchange to close at Rs589.1. It also entered into a licensing deal with US-based Abbott Laboratories Ltd.
The vaccine will be marketed under the brand name VaxiFlu-S by Vaxxicare, a division of the group focusing on preventives. The vaccine is an egg-based, inactivated one, based on conventional technology. The firm plans to develop a wide spectrum of vaccines against bacterial, viral and protozoal infections.
“With the vaccine in the market soon, we would be better prepared with an affordable therapy and prevent further loss of lives to this infectious disease,” said Pankaj R. Patel, chairman and managing director, Zydus Cadila. “The launch of VaxiFlu-S gives thrust to our objective of emerging as a strong player in the area of preventives.”
As of 10 May, 139,466 people have been tested for flu-like symptoms, with 23% testing positive for H1N1 (swine) flu at a 5% fatality rate. In March, Sanofi Pasteur SA’s imported H1N1 vaccine was approved for use in India.
In a separate development, Zydus Cadila and Abbott signed a pact for commercializing branded generics in emerging markets. Under the deal, Abbott will licence 24 of Zydus Cadila’s products in 15 high-growth markets and will have the option for at least 40 more products. The products will be manufactured by Zydus Cadila for Abbott.
“The Zydus agreement complements Abbott’s established products strategy, augmenting this business with a broad portfolio of branded generics,” said Olivier Bohuon, executive vice-president, pharmaceutical products group, Abbott. The collaboration includes medicines for pain, cancer and cardio-vascular, neurological and respiratory diseases.