Representative image
Representative image

Drug firm Eli Lilly on Monday said it has signed a voluntary licensing agreement with Natco Pharma to further expedite the availability of baricitinib for COVID-19 patients in India.

The company has issued an additional royalty-free, non-exclusive voluntary license to Natco Pharma and the Hyderabad-based company will be collaborating with Eli Lilly to further accelerate and expand the availability of baricitinib in India during this pandemic.

The move will improve the local treatment options available and will positively impact the lives of people who are currently battling COVID-19 in India, Eli Lilly said in a statement.

Earlier, the company had announced signing of six voluntary license agreements with Cipla, Lupin, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Dr Reddy's, MSN Laboratories and Torrent Pharmaceuticals.

Eli Lilly and Company has received permission for restricted emergency use by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), for baricitinib to be used 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, the statement said.

Meanwhile, Eli Lilly and Company said it continues to engage in active dialogue with the regulatory authorities and government in India to deliver baricitinib donations through the humanitarian aid organisation, Direct Relief, and to donate it''s anti-COVID-19 treatments, including Lilly''s neutralising antibodies.

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