In the second wave, Cipla
has added more products to its kitty – MSD’s molnupiravir (oral antiviral), Eli Lilly’s Baricitinib (oral drug used for inflammatory and autoimmune disorders), and Roche’s antibody cocktail for Covid19.
Molnupiravir is an investigational drug which is currently being studied in a phase 3 trial for treatment of non-hospitalised patients with Covid19.Upadhye thus said that bringing Molnupiravir, an MSD drug, will take some time. “It may take a few months. Once it is approved in the US, the corresponding application will be done in India,” he said.
In comparison, Eli Lilly’s Baricitinib can be launched sooner. Cipla will be manufacturing the drug here too along with the bulk drug. As for Roche’s antibody cocktail (Casirivimab and Imdevimab), it can be expected to be available in the next few days.
The antibody cocktail (Casirivimab and Imdevimab) is to be administered for the treatment of mild to moderate Covid patients aged 12 years and above. On March 23, Roche announced that a large phase III global trial in high-risk non-hospitalised COVID-19 patients ("outpatients") met its primary endpoint, showing that Casirivimab and imdevimab significantly reduced the risk of hospitalisation or death by 70 percent compared to placebo. Casirivimab and imdevimab also shortened the duration of symptoms by four days, Cipla has said.
Adding to this, Cipla’s respiratory product budesonide, is now actively used in Covid treatment.
“Noticing strong tailwinds for the India portfolio, especially on remdesivir and antibody cocktails (once launched). Budesonide is now part of the treatment protocol. Remdesivir output almost 5-times of last peak,” noted Kunal Randeria, analyst with Edelweiss Securities.
Cipla feels that Covid will continue to be an important part of its therapy portfolio over the next few years.
“Next one or two years Covid will continue to be an important part of the therapy portfolio and that is why every company is tapping into it. Acute will not do well in these times, and even some respiratory drugs may also suffer,” Upadhye said. He did not wish to comment on whether Covid contribution will be more than 5 percent of the domestic turnover.
Randeria said, “FY22 is likely to be driven by domestic Covid portfolio (remdesivir, Roche’s antibody cocktail and increasing budesonide use) that can contribute as much as Rs 2000 crore in sales.”
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