Hyderabad-based pharmaceuticals company, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, entered into a royalty-free, non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreement with Eli Lilly and Company for the manufacture and commercialisation of the drug, baricitinib, in India.

The drug baricitinib has received restricted emergency use approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), Ministry of Health, India, for use in combination with remdesivir for the treatment of suspected or laboratory confirmed Covid-19 in hospitalised adults requiring supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

“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

Dr Reddy’s has also tied up with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund that has bankrolled Sputnik V and is in charge of marketing it abroad, for manufacturing and sale of the vaccine in India. Dr Reddy’s also managed the clinical trials of Sputnik V in India. The vaccine has received approval from drug regulators in India and the country will start receiving the doses of Sputnik V from May.

As per Dr Reddy’s Laboratories CEO Deepak Sapra, six manufacturing units have been selected for producing Sputnik V in India. Two of these units will begin vaccine supply by June-July, the other two by August, and the remaining two are expected to begin the supply of the vaccine either by September or October.

It has also collaborated with DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) to develop an anti-Covid drug, 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), which has also received approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI). The drug has been developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a lab of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in collaboration with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Hyderabad. Read full report – 

Meanwhile, India reported 3,48,421 new COVID-19 cases and the highest 4,205 deaths in the last 24 hours, as health ministry data shows.

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