Home / News / India /  Cipla, Lupin, Sun Pharma ink pacts to make Lilly’s covid drug

NEW DELHI : US drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co. on Monday said it has issued royalty-free, non-exclusive voluntary licences to Cipla, Lupin and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd to produce its baricitinib drug in India to help combat the deadly second wave of the pandemic in the country.

The company is also in talks with other pharmaceutical firms in India to grant similar voluntary licences in an effort to expand the availability of the drug.

Eli Lilly recently received permission from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) for restricted emergency use of baricitinib to be used in combination with remdesivir for the treatment of suspected or laboratory-confirmed covid-19 in hospitalized adults requiring supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

These voluntary licensing pacts will ensure high-quality manufacturing and accessibility of baricitinib during the pandemic, improving the local treatment options available to those battling by the deadly infection, the company said in a statement.

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

“More licences to additional Indian generic manufacturers are expected to be announced soon. This is in addition to the donations being offered by Lilly to the Indian government that will potentially help alleviate the burden of covid-19. We will continue to explore other possible initiatives to support patients and the healthcare system in India," said Visini.

Lilly is working with the Indian government to fight the pandemic through various initiatives including donations and expanding the availability of Lilly therapies.

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, while urgently working to increase product supply over the coming days. This donation furthers both Lilly and Direct Relief’s charitable goal of providing access to covid-19 treatments to patients in need, the company said.

Meanwhile, Lilly continues to engage in discussions with the regulatory authorities and government in India to donate Lilly’s anti-covid-19 treatments, including its neutralizing antibodies, bamlanivimab and bamlanivimab and etesevimab which need to be administered in a single combination.

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