Representational image
Representational image

Cipla Ltd has entered into a licensing agreement with American pharma company Eli Lilly to expand access to COVID-19 treatment in India.

The Mumbai-based company said it has signed a royalty-free, non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreement with Eli Lilly for baricitinib.

In a filing, the firm said: Cipla Limited on Monday announced that it has entered into a licensing agreement with Eli Lilly to expand access to Covid-19 treatment in India. The pharma company has signed a royalty-free, non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreement with US' Eli Lilly for the manufacture and commercialization of the drug Baricitinib for Covid-19 indication, it said in a filing to the stock exchanges.

Baricitinib was issued a restricted emergency use approval by 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 hospitalized adults requiring supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), Cipla added.

This collaboration is a step further in the company''s efforts to enhance access to critical treatments for patients affected by the pandemic, Cipla said in a statement.

The company will leverage its extensive distribution footprint to make this therapy accessible to more patients and markets, it added.

“Through the pandemic, Cipla has been at the forefront of COVID care and our partnership with Lilly is a demonstration of our unwavering commitment to care towards patients impacted by COVID-19," Cipla Ltd MD and Global CEO Umang Vohra noted.

Cipla had last year launched a generic version of antiviral drug remdesivir to treat COVID-19 patients. The drug firm had also introduced antibody detection kits for COVID-19 in the country under the brand name ''ELIFast'' in partnership with KARWA Ltd, under the technology transfer from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Amid spiralling cases of COVID-19 in the country amid the second wave, drug firms have been collaborating to come out with drugs to treat the highly infectious disease.

India has recorded over 2.22 crore confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 2,42,362 deaths. A total of 1,83,17,404 people have recuperated from COVID-19 so far. There are 37,36,648 active cases in the country as of date, which comprises 16.76 percent of the total caseload.

At around 10.05 AM, Cipla was trading at Rs 894.45 per piece up by Rs 11.50 or 1.30 percent on Sensex.

(With PTI inputs)

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