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“With more understanding of COVID-19, the less we fear it and it is through this understanding that we can potentially create impressive therapeutic developments" says Mr. Prashant Nagre, CEO, FBL as he expounds further on the experimental antiviral drug Molnupiravir. Developed at Emory University in Atlanta by Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory (DRIVE). It was then acquired by Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, who later partnered with Merck & Co. to further develop the drug as they are encouraged by preliminary data from a Phase 2a trial of its COVID-19 oral antiviral treatment Molnupiravir. Molnupiravir, originally developed for the treatment of influenza, is ‘orally active’ unlike other potential options of treatment for COVID-19 viz Remdesivir that are in the injectable format.

Fermenta Biotech Limited (FBL) today announced that it has successfully developed and filed patent application(s) for novel biocatalytic technology of manufacturing Molnupiravir. The patented enzymatic route of synthesis possesses the technological advantage of being efficient and environment-friendly, with higher yields and lower solvent use as compared to existing reported manufacturing processes. Biocatalysis is defined as the use of natural substances that include enzymes from biological sources or whole cells to speed up chemical reactions. FBL has also optimised these enzymatic steps to achieve a commercially viable technology and believes this process will be substantially cost-effective vis-à-vis chemical synthesis currently followed. Developed by FBL’s R&D team by utilising its proprietary CAL B Lipase immobilised enzyme platform allows for a cost effective biocatalysis which may create a highly affordable therapeutic alternative for the fight against COVID 19.

Studies for testing the efficacy of Molnupiravir in the treatment of COVID-19 are underway worldwide. The primary efficacy objective in the treatment of COVID-19 was a reduction in time to viral negativity, which has important public health implications for the control of the pandemic’s spread globally. Emerging data from a recent US Phase IIa study shows promising results on this parameter. Additional studies are underway to further supplement these results.

In further conversation with Mr. Prashant Nagre, CEO, FBL, “At a time when COVID-19 treatment is the need of the hour, we are proud to have developed multiple path breaking routes to synthesise Molnupiravir in a short span of time. FBL is now looking forward to engaging with industries and other agencies to be able to contribute in the best manner possible for making this product widely available, subject to clinical trials and approvals."

About Fermenta Biotech Ltd. (FBL):

Founded in 1951 and headquartered in Thane, Maharashtra, Fermenta Biotech Limited (FBL) is a pioneer in immobilised enzyme technology with the mission to contribute to the emerging transformation of Biocatalysis.

The enzyme manufacturing unit in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) approved R&D facility in Thane have consistently developed and sustained FBL’s leadership in providing advanced enzyme technologies. FBL is a pioneer in the development and production of fermentation-based Penicillin G Amidase enzyme (PGA) and commercialised immobilised enzymes in India. Further, FBL also manufactures CAL B Lipase for a variety of applications from pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, food and fragrance, leather as well as the biodiesel industry.

Additionally, FBL is one of the leading manufacturers of Vitamin D3 globally. For more information about the Company and its businesses, please visit our website www.fermentabiotech.com

Safe harbor:

Statements in this document relating to future status, events, or circumstances, including but not limited to statements about plans and objectives, the progress and results of research and development, potential project characteristics, project potential and target dates for project related issues are forward-looking statements based on estimates and the anticipated effects of future events on current and developing circumstances. Such statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties and are not necessarily predictive of future results. Actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements. The company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, changed assumptions or other factors.

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